Skip to main content

60 Inspirational Thanksgiving Quotes That Will Have You Expressing Gratitude All Year Round

Natalie Frank has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is Managing Editor for Novellas & Serials at LVP Publishers.


Thanksgiving Day is the annual national holiday in the U.S. and Canada originally celebrated to give thanks for the harvest. It now includes a celebration in honor of the variety of blessings received during the previous year. In the U.S., the Thanksgiving tradition began in 1621 with a feast shared by the colonists and the Wampanoag nation and it established a treaty between the two people.

As the country has become more urban with people living farther apart, Thanksgiving has turned into a time that families gather together. The holiday is filled with symbolic meaning, values and traditions. The holiday first associated with Pilgrims and Native Americans has come to represent intercultural peace, America’s opportunity for immigrants, and the priority of home and family. These values are demonstrated in the following quotes that you can share at your own celebration gathering and which will inspire you to give thanks all year long.

Quotations About Thanksgiving and Being Thankful

"Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse."

— Henry Van Dyke

"Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough."

— Oprah Winfrey

"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, thank you, that would suffice."

— Meister Eckhart

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

— Irv Kupcinet

"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."

— Frank A. Clark

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

— W.J. Cameron

"Appreciation can change a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary."

— Margaret Cousins

"Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude."

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Scroll to Continue

"Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot."

— Hansa Proverb

"Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way."

— Native American Saying

"Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings."

— William Arthur Ward

"Gratitude is a constant attitude of thankfulness and appreciation for life as it unfolds. Living in the moment, we are open to the abundance around us and within us. We express appreciation freely. We contemplate the richness of our life. In life’s trials, we seek to understand, to accept, to learn. Gratitude is a continual celebration of life."

— Author Unknown

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others."

— Marcus Tullius Cicero

“What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?

—Erma Bombeck

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

— Melody Beattie

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude."

— D. Waitley

"I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual."

— Henry David Thoreau

"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder."

— G.K. Chesterton


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

— Elbert Hubbard

“It’s not the minutes spent at the table that put on weight, it’s the seconds.”

— Author Unknown

“If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share.”

— W. Clement Stone

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

— Gerald Good

“Coexistence: what the farmer does with the turkey — until Thanksgiving.”

— Mike Connolly

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

— Marcel Proust

“None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.”

— Fred De Witt Van Amburgh

“Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.”

— Seneca

“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!”

— Henry Ward Beecher

“Cooking Tip: Wrap turkey leftovers in aluminum foil and throw them out.”

— Nicole Hollander

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”

— Thornton Wilder

“To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.”

— Reba Mcentire

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”

— Maya Angelou

“It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.

— David Steindl-Rast

“Be thankful for what you have. Your life is someone else’s fairy tale.”

— Wale Ayeni

“Thankfulness is measured by the number of our words. Gratitude is measured by the nature of our actions.”

— David O. McKay

"When you love what you have, you have everything you need."

— Anonymous

“You can tell you ate too much for Thanksgiving when you have to let your bathrobe out.”

— Jay Leno

"Forever on Thanksgiving Day the heart will find the pathway home."

— Wilbur D. Nesbit

"Thanksgiving isn't just a day. It's a way we can live our lives every day."

— Katrina Mayer


"We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction."

— H.A. Ironside

"We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count."

— Neal A. Maxwell

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."

— John F. Kennedy

"There are only two ways to live your live. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other as is though everything is a miracle."

— Albert Einstein

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

— William Arthur Ward

"After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations."

— Oscar Wilde

"The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are, the more present you become."

— Robert Holden

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life."

— Melody Beattie

"Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance."

— Eckhart Tolle

"The struggle ends when gratitude begins."

— Neale Donald Walsh

"Look at everything as though you were seeing it for the first or the last time, then your time on earth will be filled with glory."

— Betty Smith

"Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds."

—Theodore Roosevelt

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

— W.T. Purkiser

"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."

— Frederick Keonig

"Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out."

— John Wooden

"Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: It must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all."

— William Faulkner

"Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings."

— William Arthur Ward

“Thanksgiving—when the people who are the most thankful are the ones who didn’t have to cook."

Melanie White

"There's always something to be thankful for on Thanksgiving. Even if it's just not being a turkey."


"Thanksgiving, the day we set our clocks back ten pounds."


© 2018 Natalie Frank


Natalie Frank (author) from Chicago, IL on November 17, 2018:

Thanks for the comment, Linda. I'm glad you found the quotes interesting and inspirational. Have a great Thanksgiving.

Natalie Frank (author) from Chicago, IL on November 17, 2018:

I agree with you about Melodie Beattie, Dora. There are a lot of great quotes from her. Another favorite of mine that comes from her is, "Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." Thanks for the comment. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

Natalie Frank (author) from Chicago, IL on November 17, 2018:

Glad you enjoyed the article, Pamela. Thanks for stopping by and for reading. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Natalie Frank (author) from Chicago, IL on November 17, 2018:

Thanks, Heidi. Glad you enjoyed them. Happy Thanksgiving.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on November 16, 2018:

Melodie Beattie's is among my favorites; and many others have repeated it in other words. So many are worth memorizing. Thanks for the collection.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on November 14, 2018:

Thank you for sharing some interesting and inspirational quotes, Natalie. Thanksgiving is a great time to express gratitude, and so is the rest of the year, as you say.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on November 14, 2018:

I loved all the quotes, and Thanksgiving is such a good time to have that grateful, positive attitude. The Ralph Waldo Emerson was certainly one of my favorites,

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on November 14, 2018:

Lots of good ones! Thanks for sharing them and Happy Thanksgiving!

Natalie Frank (author) from Chicago, IL on November 14, 2018:

Of all the Thanksgiving traditions it seems like you got one of the most popular, Liz (: Thanks for stopping by.

Natalie Frank (author) from Chicago, IL on November 14, 2018:

An excellent thing to be thankful for, Bill. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Natalie Frank (author) from Chicago, IL on November 14, 2018:

Hi Flourish - Yes it is a great quote. Thanks for stopping by and for commenting.

Liz Westwood from UK on November 14, 2018:

Great list of quotes. We miss out on Thanksgiving in the UK although your black Friday deals have made it over here.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 14, 2018:

Twelve years ago I quit drinking and saved my life. I'm grateful every single day to be alive,my friend.

FlourishAnyway from USA on November 14, 2018:

I particularly appreciated Henry David Thoreau’s quote— succinct and plain spoken.

Related Articles