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.
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice.
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.
So once in every year we throng
Upon a day apart,
To praise the Lord with feast and song
In thankfulness of heart.
~Arthur Guiterman, The First Thnksgiving
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
Remember God's bounty in the year. String the pearls of His favor. Hide the dark parts, except so far as they are breaking out in light! Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to gratitude!
~Henry Ward Beecher
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
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.
What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?
~Erma Bombeck, "No One Diets on Thanksgiving," 26 November 1981
Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.
He who thanks but with the lips
Thanks but in part;
The full, the true Thanksgiving
Comes from the heart
Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day.
~Robert Caspar Lintner
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.
For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird, and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day.
Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, - a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.
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
Some hae meat and canna eat, -
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit.
It has been an unchallengeable American doctrine that cranberry sauce, a pink goo with overtones of sugared tomatoes, is a delectable necessity of the Thanksgiving board and that turkey is uneatable without it.
Ah! on Thanksgiving day....
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before.
What moistens the lips and what brightens the eye?
What calls back the past, like the rich pumpkin pie?
~John Greenleaf Whittier
Thanksgiving comes to us out of the prehistoric dimness, universal to all ages and all faiths. At whatever straws we must grasp, there is always a time for gratitude and new beginnings.
~J. Robert Moskin
There is one day that is ours. There is one day when all we Americans who are not self-made go back to the old home to eat saleratus biscuits and marvel how much nearer to the porch the old pump looks than it used to. Thanksgiving Day is the one day that is purely American.
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.
We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.
Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace, the celebration of work and the simple life... a true folk-festival that speaks the poetry of the turn of the seasons, the beauty of seedtime and harvest, the ripe product of the year - and the deep, deep connection of all these things with God.
~Ray Stannard Baker (David Grayson)
Heap high the board with plenteous cheer and gather to the feast,And toast the sturdy Pilgrim band whose courage never ceased.
~Alice W. Brotherton
On Thanksgiving Day, all over America, families sit down to dinner at the same moment - halftime.
Dear Lord; we beg but one boon more:
Peace in the hearts of all men living,
peace in the whole world this Thanksgiving.
On Thanksgiving Day we acknowledge our dependence.
~William Jennings Bryan
It is literally true, as the thankless say, that they have nothing to be thankful for. He who sits by the fire, thankless for the fire, is just as if he had no fire. Nothing is possessed save in appreciation, of which thankfulness is the indispensable ingredient. But a thankful heart hath a continual feast.
Lord, 'tis Thy plenty-dropping hand
That soils my land,
And giv'st me for my bushel sowne
Twice ten for one.
All this, and better, Thou dost send
Me, to this end,
That I should render, for my part,
A thankful heart.
Thanksgiving is America's national chow-down feast, the one occasion each year when gluttony becomes a patriotic duty.
Forever on Thanksgiving Day
The heart will find the pathway home.
~Wilbur D. Nesbit
Grace isn't a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It's a way to live.
~Attributed to Jacqueline Winspear
Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.
~Native American Saying
To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.
~Johannes A. Gaertner
A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.
But see, in our open clearings, how golden the melons lie;Enrich them with sweets and spices, and give us the pumpkin-pie!
~Margaret Junkin Preston
Coexistence: what the farmer does with the turkey - until Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is possible only for those who take time to remember; no one can give thanks who has a short memory.
God has two dwellings; one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart.
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 over-eating, shopping, or getting drunk, I suppose it's a miracle that the concept of giving thanks even surfaces at all.
Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants.
Perhaps it takes a purer faith to praise God for unrealized blessings than for those we once enjoyed or those we enjoy now.
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.
Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.
All that we behold is full of blessings.
For what I give, not what I take,
For battle, not for victory,
My prayer of thanks I make.
Happy We-Stole-Your-Land-and-Killed-Your-People Day!
~Thanksgiving toast, from the movie Sweet November
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.
~G.A. Johnston Ross
O Lord that lends me life,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.
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
Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel.
The funny thing about Thanksgiving, or any huge meal, is that you spend 12 hours shopping for it and then chopping and cooking and braising and blanching. Then it takes 20 minutes to eat it and everybody sort of sits around in a food coma, and then it takes four hours to clean it up.
And though I ebb in worth, I'll flow in thanks.
The thing I'm most thankful for right now is elastic waistbands.
For, after all, put it as we may to ourselves, we are all of us from birth to death guests at a table which we did not spread. The sun, the earth, love, friends, our very breath are parts of the banquet.... Shall we think of the day as a chance to come nearer to our Host, and to find out something of Him who has fed us so long?
~Rebecca Harding Davis
Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
~William Arthur Ward
May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!
Gluttony and surfeiting are no proper occasions for thanksgiving.
~Charles Lamb, 1821
But whether we have less or more,
Always thank we God therefor.
Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.
God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?"
~William A. Ward
Turkey: A large bird whose flesh, when eaten on certain religious anniversaries has the peculiar property of attesting piety and gratitude.
~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.
Thanksgiving-day, I fear,
If one the solemn truth must touch,
Is celebrated, not so much
To thank the Lord for blessing o'er,
As for the sake of getting more!
I love Thanksgiving turkey. It's the only time in Los Angeles that you see natural breasts.
For hearts that are kindly, with virtue and peace, and not seeking blindly a hoard to increase; for those who are grieving o'er life's sordid plan; for souls still believing in heaven and man; for homes that are lowly with love at the board; for things that are holy, I thank thee, O Lord!
It is delightfully easy to thank God for the grace we ourselves have received, but it requires great grace to thank God always for the grace given to others.
When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep?
Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often.
Thanksgiving is so called because we are all so thankful that it only comes once a year.
~P. J. O'Rourke
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.
We can always find something to be thankful for, and there may be reasons why we ought to be thankful for even those dispensations which appear dark and frowning.
Thanksgiving is nothing if not a glad and reverent lifting of the heart to God in honor and praise for His goodness.
~Robert Casper Lintner
Got no check books, got no banks. Still I'd like to express my thanks - I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night.
If you count all your assets, you always show a profit.
Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.