46 Thanksgiving Wishes, Messages, and Greetings to Share This Year

Not sure what to say on this special day? Borrow some words from this collection of thoughtful quotes.

Thanksgiving wishes, messages, greetings, texts, captions - Thanksgiving table
Photo: Getty Images

Unlike holidays that lean more heavily into gift-giving, Thanksgiving is all about human connections: It's about sharing your gratitude for the wonderful people in your life and all the blessings you enjoy. (It's also about food.)

You may make a point of spending Thanksgiving with family and/or friends, but that doesn't mean you can't send additional Thanksgiving wishes or messages. Thanksgiving quotes make great holiday greetings, but there are also gratitude- or relationship-focused messages you can share to spread the holiday cheer. (And if you want to go above and beyond "Happy Thanksgiving," you're in the right spot.)

Whether you're prepping cards, putting together signs for your Thanksgiving table decor, or planning out your Instagram captions for your post-dinner family photo posts, give these Thanksgiving wishes a try; you may find yourself getting a little teary-eyed in the process. At the very least, you can download one of these images to send to your loved ones in the family group chat; a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

01 of 09

Thanksgiving Wishes for Everyone

Thanksgiving wishes, messages, captions - john f kennedy
Julia Bohan

If you prefer one of the more standard Thanksgiving sayings, we recommend starting with "I'm so thankful for you!" If that doesn't seem acceptable, why not incorporate a quote? Over the history of the holiday, many authors, poets, statesmen, and others have spoken their Thanksgiving greetings in an elegant manner. Here are some of our favorites:

  • "Let us be thankful to the people who bring us happiness; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." – Marcel Proust, Pleasures and Days
  • "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." – Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go
  • "I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite—only a sense of existence." – Henry David Thoreau, In a Letter to Harrison Gray Otis Blake (December 6, 1856)
  • "Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind." – Henry James, to his nephew, William James, as quoted in Leon Edel's Henry James: A Life
  • "As we grow older and realize more clearly the limitations of human happiness, we come to see that the only real and abiding pleasure in life is to give pleasure to other people." – P.G. Wodehouse, Something New
  • "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them" – John F. Kennedy
02 of 09

Thanksgiving Wishes for Family

Thanksgiving wishes, messages, captions - blessing
Julia Bohan

If you're extending a Thanksgiving message to family, many times it's because they live out of town, and you're unable to spend it together. Or maybe you're spending the holiday with your in-laws or significant other's families. Families can be crazy, but underneath it all is an everlasting bond most are grateful for. These thanksgiving messages are less literary, too, and more on the fun side. Here are some Thanksgiving wishes for family that work just as well in a text message as they do in a card:

  • "I know why families were created, with all their imperfections. They humanize you. They are made to make you forget yourself occasionally, so that the beautiful balance of life is not destroyed." - Anais Nin
  • "There's no vocabulary for love within a family, love that's lived in but not looked at, love within the light of which all else is seen, the love within which all other love finds speech. This love is silent." - T.S. Eliot, The Elder Statesman
  • "Having somewhere to go is home. Having someone to love is family. Having both is a blessing." - Unknown
  • I am so grateful that I have such an incredible family. Thank you so much for all the amazing things you have done for me.
  • We might be a crazy family, but I would never ever wish for it to be any other way. I am so deeply thankful for you!
03 of 09

Thanksgiving Wishes for Friends

Thanksgiving wishes, messages, captions - francois VI
Julia Bohan

Celebrating your first Friendsgiving this year? Make it extra special by giving out notes filled with Thanksgiving wishes to each person sitting around your dinner table. Including some friendly Thanksgiving quotes in the cards can be a great route but so can simply saying thanks for coming. No matter what is in your Thanksgiving message to friends, the simple gesture of sharing your gratitude with loved ones is what will truly be appreciated. Try one of these sentiments:

  • "However rare true love may be, true friendship is still rarer." – Francois VI, Duc de la Rochefoucauld
  • "Friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine." – Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Maria Cosway, 1786
  • Where would I be without you? I'm so thankful and honored that I get to call you my friend.
  • You have been there for me through all the ups and downs. There is no amount of times I could write "Thank you" that would fully encapsulate the amount of gratitude I have for you.
  • There is nothing better in life than a friend who is always there for you. Thank you for being that friend for me!
04 of 09

Funny Thanksgiving Wishes

Thanksgiving wishes, messages, captions - Oscar Wilde
Julia Bohan

Regretfully, Thanksgiving can end up being tense for some families. Between regression and fights about politics, the stress of being together can sometimes escalate to an unenjoyable meal. Lighten the mood with a few Thanksgiving jokes when things feel like they're getting rough. Your aunts and uncles might enjoy hearing a selection of these funny Thanksgiving quotes between dinner and dessert, and it can keep the conversation from going somewhere controversial. Maybe the injection of humor into the night will lend itself to taking funny Thanksgiving pictures you will cherish forever.

  • "After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations" - Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance
  • "There's no such thing as excess eating, only inadequate activity." - Dorothy V. Harris
  • "Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie." – from David Mamet's Boston Marriage
  • "Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants" – Kevin James in King of Queens
  • "I felt a glow about my heart that, if it were not indigestion, I think must have been gratitude." – Benjamin Disraeli, Endymion
05 of 09

Religious Thanksgiving Greetings

Thanksgiving wishes, messages, captions - neal maxwell
Julia Bohan

Is Thanksgiving a religious holiday? Though Christian pilgrims might have first celebrated the holiday, it is recognized as a secular holiday. But many feel as though their faith and relationship with a higher power is something they're thankful for and celebrate the holiday with this in mind. For those looking to extend religious Thanksgiving wishes, religious texts are a great source. Some religious Thanksgiving greetings have come in the form of quotes of clergy members and other famous theologians. Here are a few popular options:

  • "You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the play and the opera, And grace before the concert and pantomime, And grace before I open a book, And grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing; And grace before I dip the pen in the ink." - G.K. Chesterton, From an early notebook (mid-1890s)
  • "I do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers." Ephesians 1:16
  • "Let us gather in sanctuaries dedicated to worship and in home blessed by family affect to express our gratitude for the glorious gifts of God; and let us earnestly and humbly pray that He will continue to guide and sustain." – John F. Kennedy, Proclamation 3560, Thanksgiving Day, 1963
  • "This food is the gift of the whole universe: the earth, the sky and much hard work. May we live in a way that makes us worthy to receive it. May we transform our own unskilled states of mind and learn to eat with moderation. May we take only foods that nourish us and prevent illness. We accept this food so that we may realize the path of understanding and love." – The Five Contemplations, Thich Nhat Hanh
  • "You and I should count our blessings, but we should also make them count!" – Neal A. Maxwell, "Apply the Atoning Blood of Christ."
06 of 09

Thanksgiving Wishes for Facebook or Instagram

Thanksgiving wishes, messages, captions - note to friends
Julia Bohan

If you're looking to send all of your friends and family happy Thanksgiving wishes in one go, Facebook and Instagram offer optimum routes for posting heartfelt Thanksgiving sayings. Just post one of these Thanksgiving wishes for Instagram or Facebook (or your social media of choice), and you're guaranteed to get tons of "likes" and "loves" all day.

  • Happy Thanksgiving! My heart is as full as my stomach is bound to be.
  • Today I'm thankful for [blank]. What are you thankful for today?
  • Happy turkey day, friends! What are you looking forward to filling your plate (and bellies!) with today?
  • Happy Thanksgiving to all my family and friends. I am so thankful for each and every one of you.
  • Here's hoping everyone remembered to wear stretchy pants to dinner. Happy Thanksgiving, friends!
07 of 09

Thanksgiving Text Messages

Thanksgiving wishes, messages, captions - text
Julia Bohan

The quickest way to wish your girlfriend, boyfriend, or any other special friend a happy Thanksgiving? A Thanksgiving text message, of course. Whether you opt for a funny or earnest group text message, whoever is on the receiving end will surely be pleased to know you're thinking of them. From emojis to text art, here are five ways to wish your friends and family happy Thanksgiving by text.

  • Happy turkey day! 🦃
  • Reminder: Wear elastic pants today! 👖
  • Don't let the tryptophan get to you—we need to be awake for Black Friday shopping tomorrow!
  • Missing you today—I'm so thankful I have you in my life.
  • This day makes me particularly thankful for you and our friendship!
08 of 09

Thanksgiving Wishes for Business

Thanksgiving wishes, messages, captions - note to employee or coworker
Julia Bohan

Thanksgiving is all about saying thanks, and it's a nice reminder to let those you associate with in the corporate world know how much they make your life easier. When you spend 40 hours per week with your coworkers, it's a nice gesture to let them know how much you genuinely appreciate working with them. Also, if you're a supervisor to employees or work closely with clients and customers, it's a good business move to send them a warm holiday greeting. All of these Thanksgiving wishes will work as an apt message inside of a card, no matter if you're sending the note to an employee, coworker, client, or even your boss.

  • I'm so thankful I have you on my team. You are a delight to work with.
  • I feel so much gratitude to be able to see you and work with you every day. Thank you for all your hard work and support!
  • I am so thankful we are able to do business with such wonderful clients like you. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
  • I am so grateful to work under such a kind and caring boss. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving with your family!
  • Here's to all the great work we've done together this year, so far. I'm filled with gratitude to have such great, creative, hardworking people on my team.
09 of 09

Thanksgiving Wishes to Teachers

Thanksgiving wishes, messages, captions - note to teacher
Julia Bohan

Teach your children well and help them send off their Thanksgiving wishes to their teacher in a note before the holiday break. Include one of these sayings or thanksgiving quotes for teachers to smile upon.

  • An education is one of the best gifts to ever receive. Thank you for being such a wonderful teacher!
  • Happy Thanksgiving Mr./Ms./Mrs. [Name]! I am so grateful every day for the time and patience you give while teaching your students.
  • Thank you for everything you've done to make me a better and wiser student.
  • We are so filled with gratitude for all you do for our child—in and outside of the classroom. Here's to a wonderful Thanksgiving for you and yours.
  • "One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child." – Carl Jung, Collected Works
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