HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >

"The Thanksgiving Letter."

carlee134 Nov 13, 2009 07:22 AM

As I was scrolling through one of my favorite websites, "Awkward Family Photos" (http://awkwardfamilyphotos.com) I came across this gem of an awkward family story. It's a Thanksgiving letter send from the hostess to all of her attending family members. It tells them what to bring, how to bring it, how to cook it, etc for t-day dinner. While that seems like it would be okay, this letter takes it to the extreme!

Here's the link:

I thought of you chowhounds immediately!

Do any of your family members do this? Do you? Be sure to read the comments because they are also quite funny.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. j
    jujuthomas RE: carlee134 Nov 13, 2009 08:41 AM


    1. jfood RE: carlee134 Nov 13, 2009 10:23 AM

      From what jfood can see Michelle Bobble is in the driver's seat. She's bringing the pie knife.


      1. s
        small h RE: carlee134 Nov 13, 2009 03:20 PM

        Reasons to be thankful: I have a relatively normal family.

        3 Replies
        1. re: small h
          chicgail RE: small h Nov 14, 2009 06:27 AM

          I get that you're grateful that your family doesn't do this kind of craziness. But with all due respect, none of us have "normal" families (whatever that is). They're all a little crazy and a little dysfunctional, but in different ways -- some charming; some irritating.

          That being said, I, too am grateful that the author of that letter is not a part of my family. I would love to have heard the side conversations and phone calls that took place between the time they read the letter and showed up for the holiday (if they showed up).

          1. re: chicgail
            Chefpaulo RE: chicgail Nov 15, 2009 04:26 PM

            A prominent family therapist (whose name escapes me) once said that the only dysfunctional families are those with more than one person.


            1. re: chicgail
              small h RE: chicgail Nov 15, 2009 07:23 PM

              The key word here is "relatively."

          2. n
            NE_Elaine RE: carlee134 Nov 14, 2009 08:49 AM

            Thanks for the laugh carle134. This is one of the funniest things I have ever read. I would absolutely love to see what one of their dinners is actually like!

            1. shaogo RE: carlee134 Nov 14, 2009 08:58 AM

              The only way the author of the letter can continue to wreak this kind of controlling, ridiculous behavior is if the family *lets* her.

              They're all kinda sick in my estimation...

              1. LindaWhit RE: carlee134 Nov 14, 2009 11:55 AM

                THIS is hysterical! I love this response: "I wouldn’t bring a lid or a serving spoon. But I would bring plenty of aluminum foil :) " Even funnier would be if everyone just didn't show up and did their own thing without Marney. <vbg>

                I do like the live TV coverage provided by Heather:

                "We are live at the scene of what is now being referred to as the Marnie Byron Thanksgiving Slayings with Officer Barney Fife. Officer Fife, what can you tell us about what happened inside the Family Home?

                “Well, all I can say is I ain’t never seen carnage like in there. It really takes some kind of evil to kill a man with a soup spoon. Sommetin like that ya can’t unsee, ya know? There are casseroles that are not regulation and some with no lids, so some witnesses are sayin that it speaks to the motive, but I can’t be sure right now. We will have more to tell y’all later, the detective said they are tracking down some letter that went out to all the family that may shed some light on all this.”

                Witnesses have stated that the home had been quiet until about 3:30 PM when guests started to arrive to help with dinner. Police were called to the scene at about 4:30. A neighbor across the street stated that it just didn’t seem like Marnie, saying that Quote “She has quite a sense of Humor and jokes around all the time, but I guess she is deadly serious about Thanksgiving!”

                We’ll have more as the story develops, back to you Ted!"

                2 Replies
                1. re: LindaWhit
                  shaogo RE: LindaWhit Nov 15, 2009 11:47 AM

                  Oh, goodness. Your funny, funny post got me to thinking about the foil instead of lids thing.

                  But Marnie can't beat her siblings/kids with the tinfoil the way Joan Crawford beat Christina with the wire coat hangers.

                  1. re: LindaWhit
                    JerryMe RE: LindaWhit Nov 15, 2009 04:01 PM

                    OOOh - Linda! Poor Barney! "Sommetin like that ya can’t unsee, ya know?"

                    Ok - I DO have a sis that would do that but not on paper or in email. It would be on the phone or in your face . . She is a very good cook, tho.

                  2. nofunlatte RE: carlee134 Nov 15, 2009 11:18 AM

                    Gee, thanks guyz--almost pissed my pants laughing at this (and the comments!)

                    1. q
                      queencru RE: carlee134 Nov 15, 2009 03:43 PM

                      Haha- this is hysterical. I am not sure why Mike Byron is asked to bring turnip casserole, but not too much because everyone hates it. I hope they all showed up with boxes of Chinese takeout instead.

                      1. JerryMe RE: carlee134 Nov 15, 2009 04:13 PM

                        "Lisa as a married woman you are now required to contribute at the adult level."

                        OMG! So, what is the consequence of the dear hubby that should "contribute at the adult level??"

                        1. Kajikit RE: carlee134 Nov 15, 2009 04:21 PM

                          What a control freak! My family used to have large Christmas gatherings and one of my aunts tried to micromanage them when it was her turn to host... but not to that level! Actually, some of the micromanaging was needed because of a certain relatives' tendancy to turn up with 1 french bread stick (stale of course) as their 'contribution' when they had four teenage children who ate like horses, while the more generous-minded guests brought enough for an army! Ah, the joys of family...

                          1. greedygirl RE: carlee134 Nov 16, 2009 02:00 AM

                            I can't work out if this if for real or not.

                            My favourite is The June Davis family. 15 LBS of mashed potatoes in a casserole with a serving spoon. Please do not use the over-size blue serving dish you used last year.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: greedygirl
                              iluvcookies RE: greedygirl Nov 16, 2009 08:46 AM

                              And this leads me to wonder just what, precisely, is a REGULATION size casserole.
                              Wonder what the folks on the wine board would think about Chardonnay with turkey :)

                              And if I decided, out of the goodness of my heart, to bring 1947 Cheval Blanc or 1990 DRC, would I be asked to leave?

                              1. re: iluvcookies
                                chicgail RE: iluvcookies Nov 16, 2009 08:58 AM

                                You'd be a fool to bring one of those wines to a dinner like that. Straight vodka might be more the ticket for those people.

                                1. re: chicgail
                                  iluvcookies RE: chicgail Nov 16, 2009 09:09 AM

                                  Would the vodka be for me or for them? I would need lots of it to deal with that hostess.

                                  1. re: iluvcookies
                                    chicgail RE: iluvcookies Nov 16, 2009 10:03 AM

                                    < Would the vodka be for me or for them? >


                                  2. re: chicgail
                                    FrankD RE: chicgail Nov 19, 2009 07:56 PM

                                    Boone's Farm Wild Strawberry...

                              2. s
                                smartie RE: carlee134 Nov 16, 2009 02:02 AM

                                I had better not show this to my sister who is THE micromanager. She might get some ideas!

                                1. mschow RE: carlee134 Nov 16, 2009 09:14 AM

                                  Loved this and also took the time to take a look at the photos on that website. my, my, my....speechless.

                                  1. krisrishere RE: carlee134 Nov 16, 2009 09:51 AM

                                    That is too funny! I'm addicted to this website now :)

                                    1. p
                                      Parrotgal RE: carlee134 Nov 16, 2009 01:14 PM

                                      I love this hilarious, sometimes disturbing website. Either this is a huge family joke, or, as I suspect, one unbelievable control freak. Can you imagine discouraging exciting new discoveries for holiday meals? I find it hard to believe anyone actually shows up at these dinners!

                                      1. free sample addict aka Tracy L RE: carlee134 Nov 17, 2009 06:21 PM

                                        If this is for real Marnie deserves as spot on This American Life. I'd love to hear her side of things, how her family reacted and how the meal went.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L
                                          carlee134 RE: free sample addict aka Tracy L Nov 18, 2009 09:21 AM

                                          SO true! I love ira glass. He'd have a field day with this one.

                                        2. j
                                          joewilson RE: carlee134 Nov 26, 2009 09:31 PM

                                          I was just emailed a video of the Thanksgiving Adaptation about crazy Aunt Marney: http://www.youtube.com/user/instmsgs Webseries is called INST MSGS.

                                          Show Hidden Posts