November 19, 2014
by Andy Saks
Thanksgiving is the perfect occasion to express your gratitude for the people and treasures in your life by giving a toast at your Thanksgiving table.
Here’s a great collection of thoughtful, funny and religious Thanksgiving quotes to help you share your thoughts (and practice your public speaking skills!).
Have a Thanksgiving quote you love? Post it in the Comments field and I’ll add it to the list!
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” — President John F. Kennedy
“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
“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.” — W.T. Purkiser
“Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.” — Seneca
“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.” — Phillips Brooks
“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
“Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow, which may mean every day, or once in seven days, at least.” — Edward Sandford Martin
“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.” — O. Henry
“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.” — W.J. Cameron
“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.” — Melody Beattie
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” — Thornton Wilder
“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
“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.” — Irving Berlin
“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.”
— Alexander Pope
“He who thanks but with the lips
thanks but in part;
the full, the true Thanksgiving
comes from the heart.”
— J.A. Shedd
“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!”
“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
“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.” — Johnny Carson
“Thanksgiving dinners take 18 hours to prepare. They are consumed in 15 minutes. Half-times take 15 minutes. This is not coincidence.” — Erma Bombeck
“An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day.” — Irv Kupcinet
“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.” — Alistair Cooke
“On Thanksgiving Day, all over America, families sit down to dinner at the same moment—halftime.” — Unknown
“Thanksgiving is America’s national chow-down feast, the one occasion each year when gluttony becomes a patriotic duty.” — Michael Dresser
“The thing I’m most thankful for right now is elastic waistbands.” — Unknown
“Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.” — Aesop
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” — William Arthur Ward
“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
“May our gratitude lead to action: May we express our gratitude.
May we smile when we encounter each other on the path,
may we seek opportunities to share our talents with others,
may we express our love to one another,
may we give with no expectation of receiving.
May we seek to repair what is broken.
May we end each day counting the day’s blessings,
those we have received and those we have bestowed.
May we be a blessing.”
— Rabbi Maralee Gordon
“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 Thanksgiving
“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.”
— George Herbert
“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
“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
“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.”
— Robert Herrick
“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!”
— Walt Mason
“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
“God has two dwellings; one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart.” — Izaak Walton
“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
“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
“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “‘thank you?'” — William A. Ward
“Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.” — Native American Saying
“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” — Meister Eckhart
Got a great Thanksgiving toast? Got a toasting story to tell?
Share them below in the “Comments” field!
ABOUT THE BLOGGER
Andy Saks owns and runs Spark Presentations, a private company founded in 1998 that provides presentation skills training and speech coaching for executives, salespeople, marketers and other businesspeople, plus booth staff training for trade show exhibitors.
Spark also books professional presenters and public speakers to represent its clients at high-profile events, in roles like keynote speaker, trade show booth presenter, master of ceremonies (emcee) and auctioneer, as well as on camera talent and voice talent.
Spark’s client list includes large corporations like AT&T, Best Buy, FedEx, Hyundai, Intel, Kimberly-Clark, Olympus, Owens-Corning, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, and Volvo; high-tech industry players like AMD, Atrion, Citrix, Gigamon, and Symantec; service organizations like Vistage, 1nService and NERCOMP; and New England institutions like the Boston Jewish Film Festival.
Andy is also the author of The Presentation Playbook Series, a three-volume set of books that help businesspeople master common presentation situations by building and running speaking “plays” like a coach or player calls a key play in a game.