The Thanksgiving Letter

November 26th, 2009

The Thanksgiving Letter - Thanksgiving

 submitted by Kara at

Listen to a dramatic reading of Marney’s famous letter.

After years of trying, Marney agreed to sit down with AFP and discuss her famous letter.

And now, you can get the official Marney Shirt! Image of regulation-size casserole dish included.


3,042 Responses to “The Thanksgiving Letter”

  1. Meiko says:

    Someone should show up with a bucket of KFC, covered by aluminum foil, with a SPORK as a serving spoon. Then videotape the craziness that ensues.

    And put it on Youtube.

  2. Janet says:

    does anybody know these people? I’d like to know if anyone showed up at the dinner. I’d come down with a mystery illness and send my regrets

  3. Leiah says:

    One word for Miss Marney – Sporks. That should finish her off and then no one will have to go through this little ordeal again. That lady is straight from the tower crazy!

  4. Mandy says:

    “Regulation size casserole” says it all. There’s a procedure manual for this family, and she appears to have it memorized. Probably wrote it, and assumes all family members should have read it but are too lazy to read it. LOL

  5. anotherdoll says:

    I’m Australian, and I have an aunt who could be this woman’s twin. *shudders* Except we’re not allowed to bring food because hers is automatically superior.

    And poor Lisa. Why didn’t she just write “You have to bring something but nothing with any point because I want to be the star of this production.” It’s things like this that make me thank all the powers of the universe Australians only celebrate one family-gathering based holiday a year.

  6. Mandy says:

    Marney is in charge of bringing a perfectly prepared side of crazy.

  7. jenny says:

    Monica Gellar-Bing was astonished when no one showed up that year.

  8. Scout Finch says:

    Oh, I do have a sil like this. For my FIL’s funeral I asked what I could bring for family meals and she just sighed and said, “Is it possible for you to make something WITHOUT Cool Whip, Cream of Mushroom Soup, or Velveeta in it? If NOT, then forget it!”

    The letter does remind me a lot of Jeff Lewis on “Flipping Out.” “For my drink, I want 70 percent lemonade/20 percent punch/10 percent Sprite…If they don’t have fruit punch, do, like, 85 percent lemonade and 15 percent Sprite.”

    • cheryl says:

      You know, I’m totally with your SIL on this one.

    • didijoy says:

      I think I would rather have dinner at Boo Radley’s house with Addicus, Jim and Scout. Marney sounds like the raving mad dog. Where’s Addicus and his sharp shooting talents when you need them!

  9. candace says:

    I would slip something in Marn’s drink.. and set about the following tasks:
    Amy, you super glue all her serving spoons and forks to the ceiling of her dining room
    June, you and the kids use these rolls of aluminum foil, start in the kitchen and work your way around the house. Leave nothing, not even her cute little terrier, uncovered.
    Everyone else, collect all the food, beer and wine, leaving her with nothing but hundreds of cans of yummy turnips, and gallons of water, we will be having dinner at my house this year.

  10. Mattb291 says:

    Martha (Marnie) Stewart’s first T-Giving after the whole “jail” thing, and she was feeling a bit on edge…

  11. Patchoground says:

    It’s fascinating that the national day set aside to be thankful for our blessings has morphed into, in Marney’s kitchen and kitchen’s around the country, a day focused on scripted perfection. There are about 8-9 family groups in this picture, and the wonder that they could all collect in one place at the same time to give thanks, against the odds of other family schedules, is a mystery to me. But perhaps there are unknown factors in this event where history has surely played a part. Let’s allow that there is room for reason on at least three positions here: “I want it my way;” “I will rebel against your way and do as I please;” and “Please stop arguing long enough to pass the dressing and gravy.”

    In my broader family, maybe half are likely to show up on time; the meal is never ready as planned; and the real test of family strength is in the competitiveness at the post meal board games. Usually the meal planning consists of an email sign-up sheet, and by the time the first round of wine is consumed on Thanksgiving, no one seems to know or care who brought what, but when the hell will the turkey be done. When I host, we keep it simple: provide everything, and if folks want to bring their own beverages, then God bless them. They’re just not allowed to bring food, and I close off access to the kitchen. Relax, sit down, and converse.

    What would I do if I received that note from Marney? I would reply, in a phone call, that I applaud her sense of humor, and that this time she has outdone herself! I almost thought she wasn’t kidding! I will gladly bring a (veg/starch/desert), I’m just not sure what it will be yet. And of course, it must be served with my (ladle/spatula/tongs)! See you on Thanksgiving!

    I received a note from my brother this week, in July, that he is hosting Christmas this year. Let the games begin!

  12. Sarah says:

    I think it is hilarious that she writes to not include cheese with the Asparagus/Green Bean Dish, because “you know how Mike is”. Right, because Mike is difficult one.

  13. lagrange says:

    this is the funniest freaking thing I’ve ever read and this deserves to be in the awkward hall of fame- she must be friends with Hyacinth Bucket and must host alot of “candlelight suppers”

    • Smartie says:

      And her neighbors sneak around, terrified of seen… her postman is afraid to bring a letter that’s not first class…

  14. Avi says:

    You just *know* her furniture is covered in perfectly fitted clear plastic.

  15. Kerri says:

    OMG, I think “Marney” is an alias for my sister! Honest to God, I have letters from her EXACTLY like this. Now that I’ve had a good laugh knowing I’m not alone, maybe I’ll post them! LOL

  16. TheRev says:

    I’m scared of this lady!

  17. Bleah! says:


    What would Dr. Phil say?

  18. Jay says:

    I just want to know if any of these people actually showed up and followed her instructions. And why would you need a case of bottled water with all that delicious wine flowing around the table. Marney needs some serious therapy.

    • hs says:

      also wondering why tap water isn’t an option. i mean apparently she’s hosting an army…1 case of room temp bottle water just will not be enough. though she’s truly in the spirit to not demand a specific brand.

      • Rondi says:

        The wine is not meant to be consumed at dinner… it was for Marney’s hospitality in hosting the dinner…

      • jjmblue7 says:

        Because marney won’t be drinking the water. You would be grateful she would even put that 1 thing she doesn’t want to eat/drink herself on the list.

  19. Sloan says:

    My biggest problem with all this is that if “Marney” felt that she needed to make condescending remarks to certain family members, she should have split this letter up and sent them individually, instead of embarrassing family members in front of everyone else. I suspect this is the kind of lady who does this sort of thing in person as well as in email.

  20. 24]Эти Студенты прославились среди однокурсников своей симпатией к мальчикам. им нравились мужские попки и фаллосы. Оставаясь на едине они представляли как делают это с лучшими парнями универа и отрабатывали технику на попках друг друга. Большой член мощно проникает в зад своего товарища и трахает его раком. сперма вытекает из его попки и медленно стекает по ногам. Посмотри прямо сейчас!
    В стенах этой общаги происходят интересные вещи, доступные немногим. Мы покажем тебе как двое симпатичных молодых людей трахаются друг с другом доставляя себе неземное наслаждение! Посмотри как этот парень «разрывает» своим огромным членом попку товарища, которому все это нравится. интим порно Маша и ее игрушка бесплатно как заниматься сексом
    Сумашедшие малышки дико стонут, утопая в экстазе от секса шлюхи 15 лет Твердые члены долбят упругие попки.
    Когда наблюдаешь за кем это очень заводит. Старшая сестренка в душе, соседская девушка на лужайке, смотреть в соседние окна, все это и многое другое мы с радостью показываем тебе. смотреть бесплатно зоо секс Заменители мальчиков или на что способны развратные девчонки, когда голод их кисок уже не возможно сдержать.(+бонус) ученик трахает учительницу
    Дорогие машины и огромные виллы, стоящие миллионы долларов – все это безумно утомляет переменчивых див с обложек глянцевых журналов, им хочется секса, и ради него они готовы рисковать быть пойманными в объективы телекамер и когда это случается – все самое интересное и уникальное видео оказывается здесь. телки на природе Маша и ее игрушка

  21. Beth says:

    What a demeaning, demanding B!!! Granted Thanksgiving dinner is alot of work – no need for the BS letter. Any normal human always offers/brings a dish, desired beverage beyond coffee & pop.

    Part of the holiday fun is being able to “roll with it” – years ago my grandmother baked the jello instead of the baked beans (they were in identical dishes; she didn’t look under the lid) We are still laughing. That is what it is all about!!!

    If this were my family –> ALL parties listed would conspire to ALL bring green bean casserole (no serving spoon, no lid), 12 pk of Old Milwaukee, and maybe some TJ Swan. Then sit back and watch Marnie whirl. Good times…. Make sure we ALL send her a fruitcake (doorstop) for Christmas!!!

  22. francesca says:


  23. Zoë says:

    I feel bad for poor Lisa: “Lisa as a married woman you are now required to contribute at the adult level.” Like she’s already expecting an argument from Lisa, who apparently has never had to make food for the meal before. This sounds so condescending. If Marney thought Lisa was going to protest about having to bring something (and her assignment is a lot better than the turnip, green beans, and potatoes people), then she should have had that conversation with her privately by phone first, rather than embarrass her in front of everybody by talking to her like she’s a naughty child. Her slap at Amy is also pretty rude.

    On the other hand, I can completely understand why she would insist on serving spoons instead of soup spoons, but she doesn’t have to use that tone that implies she thinks they’re all stupid. However, if the food is going straight on the table, ready to serve, then it shouldn’t matter what kind of lid is on it.

  24. CC says:

    What is this woman’s aversion to cocktail sauce?? I mean I can understand the request for “no beans” but “NO COCKTAIL SAUCE” seems a bit harsh …

  25. Sue says:

    See, I am not that shocked at this because it sounds like a big sister talking to her younger sibs. Like she knows them very well and knows what they will and won’t do. And like she has taken charge of them for a long time and they are used to it.
    The complication comes when the in-laws hear it and it rubs them the wrong way.
    And it would rub any stranger the wrong way, but if you really know who you are talking to and you know they love you and you trust them, you can just be yourself and trust them to roll their eyes but still love you. And trust them to take everything you say with a grain of salt and go and do what they want but give a little grudging heed to what the big sister wants.
    And when they show up with a soup spoon or some other banned item it is her turn to roll her eyes and shrug and maybe yell a little, good naturedly. I wish everyone could understand this an not get so righteously indignant.

    • ML says:

      So it would be okay to be an OCD over-controlling big sister? I think it would be even worse than having a mother do that. I bet the “trust them to roll their eyes and still love you” is rather in the imagination of the family member trying to control every aspect of this gathering.

    • Rich says:

      Sue, ….. No matter HOW you sugar-coat it —– It’s STILL a personality disorder.

      If you’re trying to justify such behavior ….. it didn’t work, and I’m rolling my eyes, but NOT with love.

    • K says:

      man, you must have a jacked up family. if my brother or even mother tried that crap on me, there’d be an instant argument.

    • Killer Kate says:

      Oh no…I’m a big sister and I would NEVER treat my younger siblings like this in any capacity. Marney is a control freak.

    • jjmblue7 says:

      My big sister and brother have tried the insulting demeanor approach with me and had insults many times worse thrown back at them. The whole negative reinforcement thing never worked with me, heh.

  26. Cheeks says:

    OH MY! I would just bow out gracefully. If that didn’t work, I would just tell Marney that her dinner demands are unreasonable and inappropriate (FIFTEEN pounds of potatoes?). Then, of course, I would tell her to go eff herself.

  27. Charlie says:

    Wow. You can’t make this stuff up…. I wonder what the punishment was for violating the rules?

    • Tonya Lynn says:

      If you didn’t bring the required dish in the correct size container and serving utensils you were probably forced to sit at the kiddy table and not allowed to socialize with the adults. Also, you were most likely banned from the following years Thanksgiving because you cannot follow the ‘simple’ directions given to follow. After all there is nothing allowed if it is not less than perfect. ; )

      Also, you were not allowed any of the 15 lbs of potatoes that needed to be prepared. 😛

    • lagrange says:

      probably a good horse whipping or flogging

    • Rondi says:

      Do you think she actually weighed the mashed potatoes, and do you think she took into account the weight of the regulation size casserole dish??

    • oregonbird says:

      Turnips, of course!

  28. Lindsay says:

    And here I thought my mother-in-law was the only person on the planet capable of something like this.

  29. Yancy says:

    Why do these people even bother with her? I would have gotten that letter and promptly made other plans. Yikes. And the sad part is my exStepMIL was this way-I remember at my kid’s 2nd birthday(which is right around Thanksgiving) we lit the candle and she then proceeded to use the time to dole out instructions about the holiday and what we all needed to do. My poor kid looked like she was going to BURST.

  30. CG says:

    I think the “sans meat” is really the crowning glory here…you could dish up her pretentiousness with a serving spoon (in a regulation size casserole dish, of course). I’m printing this out and putting it on our fridge.

  31. Marney says:

    I was just informed that a copy of my letter was on this site, and I am NOT happy. You people have NO respect for real work. Here I am planning the perfect, flawless Thanksgiving, And someone posts it up for everyone to laugh at. Go die everyone.

    • everyone says:

      So bossy!

    • Tania says:

      REAL work is doing the dinner YOURself! AND if you’re going to have people assisting you with “perfect, flawless Thanksgiving”, you might want to try and NOT put your guest down. I wouldn’t be surprised if they all spit in the food.

    • Beth says:


      The fact that someone posted your “instructions” should be a wake up call for you.

      I wouldn’t take it as people are laughing at you – more like “can you believe this woman has the balls…”

      Family is a precious thing to have – should be treated like gold no matter what.

      So take a deep breath; have a glass of wine, and reflect on the lessons learned. This website shows a common thread; most saying you are demeaning/demanding. Is that really how you want people to think of you? I am sure you had good intentions trying to make the perfect dinner – the manner in which you approached it was less than stellar. So what if things don’t come out perfect – no one really cares and you will not be judged for it…

      Next time, maybe send out the letter saying:
      Thanksgiving at my house,
      ALL are welcome,
      such and such time,
      Please let me know what you are bringing by such and such date. (So you can let people know if someone else already signed up for green bean casserole…. and they need to think of another dish.)

      You might be surprised at the new recipes never tried before – most are awesome; some the dog won’t even eat… But who cares, it is about being thankful for your family/friends – and the awesome day spent with them. Mishaps included – gives everyone something to chuckle about….

      My grandmother passed away years ago. One thanksgiving in the 70’s she inadvertantly baked the jello casserole instead of the baked beans. However, every Thanksgiving since, we always check under the lid to make sure we are not baking the jello. Laughing the whole time… I know G-ma is laughing with us; we can feel her smile down from the heavens….


      I hope and pray that God grants you the serenity to accept the things you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

    • WI_DJ says:

      Nice attempt at trolling. LOL.

  32. Angela says:

    I cant believe she called that woman out on her “oversized blue serving platter” non regulation to be sure! Id bring my frakin mashed potatoes in a hefty bag! Try and dish those up with your serving spoon!!!

  33. silent1758 says:

    What the heck is a “regulation size casserole dish?” Can you imagine being disqualified for bringing a non-regulation sized one???

  34. hiitsjustmee says:

    Unfortunately I doubt this is fake. I would have to give Marnie a hearty salute and procure my own T-day dinner at the KFC drive-thru.

  35. Ashlings says:

    No turkey is worth that kind of attitude.

  36. Moffat says:

    Years ago I knew a woman whose bridal shower invitations stated everything she wanted in exact terms with model numbers, colors, size, etc. and then stated “No Substitutions Accepted”. Even the towels had to be a certain brand from a certain store in a very specific color. She might as well have just bought what she wanted and sent me the bill since it was obviously an invoice.

    • Erin says:

      Such utterly ungracious behavior never fails to amuse/alarm me.

    • janice says:

      For decorating my mom’s birthday, my kid sister handed me a bag in which were a bottle of lotion with a sticky note reading “on counter” and a bar of scented soap with a sticky reading “on sink”. Man, I was so glad I had those details. I mean, what if I put the soap on the counter?

    • Mary says:

      Before the birth of their first child, my brother and his wife informed me that my “assigned” baby shower gift was a diaper genie, after I had spent over $100 and many, many hours sewing their child a baby quilt. I sent both.

      • KareBearMac says:

        Really, your assigned gift? They would have got some dollar store onesis and I would have sold the quilt on ebay. That is the rudest thing I’ve ever heard.

      • butcherbaby says:

        i hope the diaper genie you sent was both previously used AND full. it’s one thing when you have a registry list that lets people choose what to give, or if someone asks for explicit suggestions, but outright telling you what to get is rude AND ungrateful. >:(

    • Killer Kate says:

      People who act like that would never get a gift from me! Sheesh what jerks.

  37. Turnip says:


    Read your email. We need to talk. Call me.


  38. Danielle says:

    Oh. My. God. How did this woman marry? Why do these people come to her house at all having followed instructions or not?

  39. Kate says:


  40. EveL says:

    ..and I’m guessing we know why she doesn’t want her “guests’ bringing any knives!

    • jjmblue7 says:

      I’d be more afraid of giving the knife to Marney, what with the non-regulation blue serving dish and all.

  41. EveL says:

    I think I’d rather go hungry than be subject to the company of this individual!

  42. Veggiesaurus says:

    I would make sure to call Marney on Thanksgiving Day about 1/2 an hour before dinner time to tell her I had explosive diarrhea and that me, and my 15 lbs. of mashed potatoes, wouldn’t be able to make it. Where would that leave Marney? With the worst potato-less Thanksgiving ever!

  43. Bruce says:

    I can’t believe that is true. I’mbetting it is a joke.

    • ping says:

      no this is no joke, no-one could make this stuff up. it’s too perfect! and i have an in-law that maybe isn’t this extreme but if she was allowed to be i’m sure she would be!

      • sadie says:

        My SIL’s mother is exactly like this. She’s an event planner and planned my bro and SIL’s wedding–and yes, usually you hire someone to plan your wedding in order to take the stress OFF the bride and her mother, but she overlooked that aspect. Everyone had to work and it was insanely micromanaged. A gorgeous wedding to look at, but no fun at all.

    • Rich says:

      Actually the whole letter was Photoshopped.

  44. Nettie says:

    this is by far my favorite entry on the whole site… it’s gruesome, true, but also rings true to what I have experienced in the past!

  45. Jo says:

    For one of the few times ever in my life…I am without words.

  46. Michelle says:

    This was great reading, thanks! If I am ever the recipient of such a letter, I will have to make doubly sure to do the exact opposite of my instructions. AWESOME!

  47. Erin says:

    “And now, TLC presents: A Very Gosselin Thanksgiving”

  48. Kandee says:

    I smell a movie in the works here — “Marney Dearest”. NO WIRE HANGERS – EVER! Yikes, this woman scares me. I just love the reference she makes to having a good sense of humor. Yeah right Marn.

  49. Raquel says:

    You know that nothing good can follow this intro: “Now, while I do have quite a sense of humor and joke around all the time, I COULD NOT BE MORE SERIOUS when I am providing you with your Thanksgiving instructions and orders. I am very particular, so please perform your task EXACTLY as I have requested and read your portion very carefully.”
    Yeah, I’ll betcha she’s just the family ham. Probably a 10-pound spiral ham prepared with a brown sugar and bourbon glaze — here’s a tip, go with the Splenda brown sugar mix, we don’t need higher glucose levels in this family — and cloves spaced exactly 1-1/8″ apart and evenly scored. In a dish with a LID ON IT. And a spoon … NO, wait, a SERVING FORK! I COULD NOT BE MORE SERIOUS …

    • artlady84 says:

      I love your ham reference. Doncha also love the way she says asks why she bothers with Amy? “She will never read this.” Amy is my HERO! She’s learned to ignore Marney’s fabu sense of humor. The last time I heard the name “Marney” (Marnie) it was a Hitchcockian character who murdered people….probably because they forgot their serving spoons and absolutely RUINED the Norman Rockwell T-Giving In Hell.

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