Thanksgiving is a day to count one’s blessings, reconnect with friends and relatives, and to gorge on traditional turkey day fare while trying to avoid popping any seams. Just like the first Thanksgiving feast, when New Englanders and Native Americans came together to share a meal, American families across the country will join around the dinner table to celebrate what was historically the end of the harvest season. 

A few meaningful words can go a long way when entertaining guests on turkey day. Here are 22 Thanksgiving quotes, from presidents, musicians, TV hosts, spiritual leaders and more. 

Inspirational Thanksgiving Quotes

“There is one day that is ours. Thanksgiving Day is the one day that is purely American.” -- O. Henry

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” -- Willie Nelson

“Appreciation can change a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.” -- Margaret Cousins

“Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” -- William Arthur Ward

“If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share.” -- W. Clement Stone

“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

Presidential Thanksgiving Quotes

“Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will.” -- President Franklin D. Roosevelt

“All across America, we gather this week with the people we love to give thanks to God for the blessings in our lives.” -- President George W. Bush

“Sharing in God’s blessings is at the heart of Thanksgiving and at the core of the American spirit.” -- President Bill Clinton

"We are profoundly grateful for the blessings bestowed upon us: the preservation of our freedom, so dearly bought and so highly prized; our opportunities for human welfare and happiness, so limitless in their scope; our material prosperity, so far surpassing that of earlier years; and our private spiritual blessings, so deeply cherished by all. For these we offer fervent thanks to God." -- President Harry Truman

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.” -- Abraham Lincoln

Spiritual Thanksgiving Quotes

“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” -- Dalai Lama

"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit." -- Albert Schweitzer

“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.” -- W.T. Purkiser

"Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some." -- Charles Dickens

“I give thanks to my Creator for this wonderful life where each of us has the opportunity to learn lessons we could not fully comprehend by any other means.” -- Joseph B. Wirthlin

"God is glorified, not by our groans, but by our thanksgivings.” -- Edwin Percy Whipple

Funny Thanksgiving Quotes

“Thanksgiving dinners take 18 hours to prepare. They are consumed in 12 minutes. Halftimes take 12 minutes. This is not coincidence.” -- Erma Bombeck

“An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day.” -- Irv Kupcinet

“I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.” ― Jon Stewart

"When asked if my cup is half-full or half-empty my only response is that I am thankful I have a cup." -- Sam Lefkowitz

“Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants.” -- Kevin James