Best Thanksgiving Quotes

Group of people eating thanksgiving dinner
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Ah, the cherished holiday of Thanksgiving. There are no gifts to buy ahead of time, except maybe a nice bottle of wine or bouquet of flowers for the hosts on your way to your family celebration. You just gather, eat your favorite dishes that remind you of Grandma, enjoy each others' company for the day, and then take leftovers home. Then as you heat them up in the microwave the next day (or in the middle of the night after heading out for doorbuster deals with your besties, also a tradition), you are thankful again.

To prep for your celebration or as a reflection on the day and its meaning before shopping season overtakes us all, here are several lists of famous humorous and inspirational sayings about being grateful and humorous quips about this, the tastiest of holidays. As William Shakespeare wrote, "Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast."

On God and Heaven

G.A. Johnston Ross

"If I have enjoyed the hospitality of the Host of this universe, Who daily spreads a table in my sight, surely I cannot do less than acknowledge my dependence."

Jeremy Taylor

"God is pleased with no music from below so much as with the thanksgiving songs of relieved widows and supported orphans; of rejoicing, comforted, and thankful persons."

Robert Casper Lintner

"Thanksgiving is nothing if not a glad and reverent lifting of the heart to God in honor and praise for His goodness."

Izaak Walton

"God has two dwellings; one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart."

John Baillie

"The very fact that a man is thankful implies someone to be thankful to."

Johannes A. Gaertner

"To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven."

Garrison Keillor

"Thank you, God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough."

On Gratitude and Giving Thanks

Frank A. Clark

"If a fellow isn't thankful for what he's got, he isn't likely to be thankful for what he's going to get."

Konrad von Gesner

"Best of all is it to preserve everything in a pure, still heart, and let there be for every pulse a thanksgiving, and for every breath a song."

Brother David Steindl-Rast

"Love wholeheartedly, be surprised, give thanks and praise…then you will discover the fullness of your life."

Estonian Proverb

"Who does not thank for little will not thank for much."

Melody Beattie 

"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."

W.J. Cameron 

"Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action."

Gerald Good

"If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily."

Eugene Cloutier

"To know the value of generosity, it is necessary to have suffered from the cold indifference of others."

Willie Nelson 

"When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around."

William Ward 

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."

Charles E. Jefferson

"Gratitude is born in hearts that take time to count up past mercies."

Donald Curtis 

"It is impossible to be negative while we are giving thanks."

E.J. Conrad

"One distinguishing mark of an unregenerate man is ingratitude."

Henry Clay

"Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"If we meet someone who owes us thanks, we right away remember that. But how often do we meet someone to whom we owe thanks without remembering that?"

W.T. Purkiser

"Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving."

Charles Spurgeon

"Before you go out into the world, wash your face in the clear crystal of praise. Bury each yesterday in the fine linen and spices of thankfulness."

Elbert Hubbard

"I would rather be able to appreciate things I cannot have than to have things I am not able to appreciate."


"Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart."

Phillips Brooks

"Stand up, on this Thanksgiving Day, stand upon your feet. Believe in man. Soberly and with clear eyes, believe in your own time and place. There is not, and there never has been a better time, or a better place to live in."

E.P. Powell

"Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude."

Victor Hugo

"To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do."

Frederick Keonig

"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have."

Albert Pine

"What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal."

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

"You say, 'If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.' You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled."

On Food and Humor

Margaret Junkin Preston

"But see, in our open clearings, how golden the melons lie;

Enrich them with sweets and spices, and give us the pumpkin pie!"

Irv Kupcine

"An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day."

Arnold Schwarzenegger

"I love Thanksgiving's the only time in Los Angeles that you see natural breasts."

Kevin James

"Thanksgiving, man! Not a good day to be my pants."

Erma Bombeck

"Thanksgiving dinners take 18 hours to prepare. They are consumed in 12 minutes. Half-times take 12 minutes. This is not a coincidence."

Rita Rudner

"My mother is such a lousy cook that Thanksgiving at her house is a time of sorrow."

Jon Stewart

"I celebrated Thanksgiving the old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land."


Samuel Adams, First Official Thanksgiving Proclamation

"It is therefore set apart Thursday the 18th day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise, that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor."

H.U. Westermayer

"The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving."

Alexander Pope

"Our rural ancestors, with little blest,

Patient of labour when the end was rest,

Indulged the day that housed their annual grain,

With feasts, and off'rings, and a thankful strain."

Ellen Orleans

"I have strong doubts that the first Thanksgiving even remotely resembled the 'history' I was told in second grade. But considering that [when it comes to holidays] mainstream America's traditions tend to be overeating, shopping, or getting drunk, I suppose it's a miracle that the concept of giving thanks even surfaces at all."