15 Quotes That Make The Perfect Thanksgiving Toast

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and while you may already have your turkey brining and your pies cooling, have you thought about what you're going to say around the dinner table? If, when it's your turn to share your thanks and gratitude with the group, you find yourself at a loss for words, you can count on these thoughtful author quotes that make the perfect Thanksgiving toast.

Thanksgiving has plenty of traditions, from the turkey and the stuffing to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and Thursday afternoon football, but there's one tradition in particular that, no matter what your family puts on their table or which team they root for on game day, everyone can relate to: sharing what you're thankful for. In dining rooms, kitchens, and kid's tables across the country, adults and children alike are expected to go around the table and share something they're grateful for, whether it's the delicious meal they're about to eat, the people they're sharing it with, or something else entirely. Everyone has been in the situation where, by the time it's your turn to share your thoughtful expression of thanks, your mind has gone completely blank. While others have already expressed heartfelt words of kindness and love, you find yourself muttering something about how thankful you are the turkey didn't burn this year.

As a book-lover, you can do better than that.

This year, make your Thanksgiving toast more meaningful by sharing one of these 15 perfect author quotes about family and gratitude with the ones you break bread with.

1. “Wake up now, look alive, for here is a day off work just to praise Creation: the turkey, the squash, and the corn, these things that ate and drank sunshine, grass, mud, and rain, and then in the shortening days laid down their lives for our welfare and onward resolve. There's the miracle for you, the absolute sacrifice that still holds back seed: a germ of promise to do the whole thing again, another time. . . Thanksgiving is Creation's birthday party. Praise harvest, a pause and sigh on the breath of immortality.”

― Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

2. “And it was never but once a year that they were brought together anyway, and that was on the neutral, dereligionized ground of Thanksgiving, when everybody gets to eat the same thing, nobody sneaking off to eat funny stuff--no kugel, no gefilte fish, no bitter herbs, just one colossal turkey for two hundred and fifty million people--one colossal turkey feeds all. A moratorium on the three-thousand-year-old nostalgia of the Jews, a moratorium on Christ and the cross and the crucifixion of the Christians, when everyone in New Jersey and elsewhere can be more passive about their irrationalities than they are the rest of the year. A moratorium on all the grievances and resentments, and not only for the Dwyers and the Levovs but for everyone in America who is suspicious of everyone else. It is the American pastoral par excellence and it lasts twenty-four hours.”

― Philip Roth,

American Pastoral

3. “I think that real friendship always makes us feel such sweet gratitude, because the world almost always seems like a very hard desert, and the flowers that grow there seem to grow against such high odds.”

― Stephen King, The Eyes of the Dragon

4. “...for love casts out fear, and gratitude can conquer pride.”

― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

5. “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

6. “As mothers and daughters, we are connected with one another. My mother is the bones of my spine, keeping me straight and true. She is my blood, making sure it runs rich and strong. She is the beating of my heart. I cannot now imagine a life without her.”

― Kristin Hannah, Summer Island

7. “After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”

― Oscar Wilde


A Woman of No Importance

8. “Family isn't blood. It's the people who love you. The people who have your back.”

― Cassandra Clare, City of Heavenly Fire

9. “Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”

― Maya Angelou, Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer

10. “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 Foer, Eating Animals

11. “Sticking with your family is what makes it a family.”

― Mitch Albom, For One More Day

12. “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 Chabon, The Yiddish Policemen's Union

13. “Be happy, noble heart, be blessed for all the good thou hast done and wilt do hereafter, and let my gratitude remain in obscurity like your good deeds.”

― Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

14. “It was almost painful, I thought, to have a heart so swollen with gratitude and what must have been pure, untainted happiness. I wanted to live inside the feeling forever.”

― Alexandra Bracken, In The Afterlight

15. “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

— Marcel Proust

Images: Gabriel Garcia Marengo, Aaron Burden, Yutacar, Cheryl Winn-Boujnida/Unsplash; Pixabay