15 Quotes to Usher in Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving approaches, we thought we’d compile a list of some of our favorite Thanksgiving related quotes from writers.  All of the hallmarks of the holiday are accounted for here: the joys and difficulty of being among family, historical tracings and criticisms (Mark Twain brings his sarcastic perspective to the table), food, and most importantly the importance of gratitude.


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

?Oscar WildeA Woman of No Importance


It never takes longer than a few minutes, when they get together, for everyone to revert to the state of nature, like a party marooned by a shipwreck. That’s what a family is. Also the storm at sea, the ship, and the unknown shore. And the hats and the whiskey stills that you make out of bamboo and coconuts. And the fire that you light to keep away the beasts.
?Michael ChabonThe Yiddish Policemen’s Union



Thanksgiving is the holiday that encompasses all others. All of them, from Martin Luther King Day to Arbor Day to Christmas to Valentine’s Day, are in one way or another about being thankful.
?Jonathan Safran FoerEating Animals



Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.
?William Faulkner 


A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.


Thanksgiving is a typically American holiday…The lavish meal is a symbol of the fact that abundant consumption is the result and reward of production.

?Ayn Rand


Turkey: A large bird whose flesh, when eaten on certain religious anniversaries has the peculiar property of attesting piety and gratitude.
?Ambrose BierceThe Devil’s Dictionary


Gratitude is a fruit of great cultivation; you do not find it among gross people.

?Samuel Johnson


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


In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.

?Elizabeth Gilbert


If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.

?Meister Eckhart


Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.

?A.A. Milne


At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.

?Albert Schweitzer 


…for love casts out fear, and gratitude can conquer pride.

?Louisa May Alcott


Thanksgiving Day, a function which originated in New England two or three centuries ago when those people recognized that they really had something to be thankful for – annually, not oftener – if they had succeeded in exterminating their neighbors, the Indians, during the previous twelve months instead of getting exterminated by their neighbors, the Indians. Thanksgiving Day became a habit, for the reason that in the course of time, as the years drifted on, it was perceived that the exterminating had ceased to be mutual and was all on the white man’s side, consequently on the Lord’s side; hence it was proper to thank the Lord for it and extend the usual annual compliments.
?Mark Twain


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