10 Memorable Thanksgiving Quotes to Remind Us What the Holiday Really Means

thanksgiving wreath
Lindsey Turner/Flickr

Although retailers would have us believe Thanksgiving and the weeks after are all about the gigantic, once-in-a-lifetime type sales we could get in on, we all really know Thanksgiving is about so much more. Ultimately, it boils down to gratitude and giving. It's so simple, but understandably easy to forget in the midst of all the cooking, parade-watching, family-gathering, stuffing our faces, football, midnight shopping, etc.


So, to remind us what the holiday really means -- and to help us express that -- here, 10 thought-provoking, moving, and witty Thanksgiving quotes about the often hectic, at times family drama-packed, but always colorful holiday. 

  1. "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." -John Fitzgerald Kennedy
  2. "Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence." -Erma Bombeck
  3. "Thanksgiving is a magical time of year when families across the country join together to raise America's obesity statistics. Personally, I love Thanksgiving traditions: watching football, making pumpkin pie, and saying the magic phrase that sends your aunt storming out of the dining room to sit in her car." -Stephen Colbert
  4. "Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action." -W.J. Cameron
  5. "Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow." -Edward Sandford Martin
  6. "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." -E.P. Powell
  7. "If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, 'thank you,' that would suffice." -Meister Eckhart
  8. “We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” -Cynthia Ozick
  9. "Let's be grateful for what we have. Let's be mindful of those who have less. Let's appreciate those who hold a special place in our lives, and make sure that they know it. And let's think about those who can't spend the holiday with their loved ones -- especially the members of our military serving overseas." -President Barack Obama
  10. “Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.” -William Faulkner
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