Thanksgiving Toasts to Make Any Celebration More Meaningful

Updated November 14, 2022
Family Thanksgiving Toast

Don't let figuring out what to say at Thanksgiving dinner send you into a stress spiral this year. Thanksgiving is an important holiday, but it also has a pretty simple and beautiful message - it's all about being thankful. This is your chance to reflect with gratitude on the wonderful people and cherished memories you have in your life. While the pressure to give the perfect Thanksgiving toast is real, you'll have it totally under control with a little inspiration. No matter what kind of celebration you're having, one of these examples will make a perfect starting point.

Short and Simple Thanksgiving Toasts

At an informal dinner, a simple toast may be done round-robin style, with everyone offering up reasons to be thankful, but if you want to get your toast game on in a slightly more structured way, try one of these. They're short, sweet, and not even cheesy at all.

Group of Friends Celebrating Thanksgiving

Gratitude for Friends

One way to define "friends" is "the family we choose." On this day and every day, I feel so grateful to have people in my life who not only tolerate my weirdness but embrace it. I'm lucky to have you guys. Here's to a wonderful meal and a great holiday!

Simple Gifts

Here's to being in the moment and having gratitude for all that makes life sweet. Here's to the smiles on our faces, the whipped cream on the pie, and the blessing of a full table and heart.

Loud Moments

There's so much to love about quiet moments, but it's moments like this one we're sharing now - loud and full of laughter - that seem to shine. I'm so grateful for all of you today.

Funny Thanksgiving Toasts to Lighten Things Up

No one would call Thanksgiving dinner a light meal, and the mood around the table can also be a little heavy at times. There's the stress of cooking and hosting, plus the awkwardness of making conversation with relatives you see basically never. Try a funny toast to make everyone smile.

Pie Goals

Looking around at this food and these faces, let me just say, I'm grateful to have a family that's as serious about pie as I am. I think if we each eat four pieces, we can take care of them all. We've got this, guys.

Gravy and Gratitude

When I look at this table, it makes me realize something: gravy tastes great on everything here. Same goes for gratitude. It makes every part of our lives just a little more flavorful.

Giving the Bird

Thanksgiving isn't like other holidays. It's the only day of the year that you won't get offended when your grandma gives you the bird across the dining room table. Seriously, though, I feel so grateful to be able to laugh and joke with all of you this year. Happy Thanksgiving!

Quick Toast Ideas for the People in Your Life

There are so many people who do things to make your life better, from teaching your kids to putting their lives on the line. Show love and gratitude for people who have a positive impact in your life.

Dining Wine Cheers Party thanksgiving

Toasting Teachers

I'd like to raise a toast to Mrs. Olson, a special teacher who helps and encourages these kids on a daily basis. She's a great mentor who inspires them to pursue their dreams. Through obstacles and difficult days, she has kept a cool head and a warm heart.

Celebrating Children

I know I complain about how much of a mess you guys make each day, but I want you to know how much love and gratitude I feel for you. I'm honored to have been given the responsibility to love and raise you. You inspire me every day to grow and be better. You are my greatest gifts, and I feel incredibly blessed for being the person you call "Mom."

Thanking Essential Workers

I want to take a moment to show gratitude for all those willing to sacrifice their own safety and well-being in a crisis. We wish you safety and health as you forge ahead.

Appreciating a Spouse

While we're all gathered around the table, I want to say thanks for all the little things you do for me to make my life better. Thank you for your love and patience every day. Thank you for taking care of me when I am sick, tired, or overwhelmed. You make my days better every day.

Thanksgiving Toasts for Lost Loved Ones

If you're attending a celebration with an empty chair at the table, it can be difficult to know what to say. Although it's a time to appreciate what we have, Thanksgiving can also highlight what we've lost. The right toast can help bring people through this difficult time and allow them to focus on what they appreciate about the person who is gone.

Not Far From Our Thoughts

I'd like to take a moment to think of Aunt Joan. We're remembering her here today at this table where we've shared so many meals, and of course, she's not far from our thoughts as we enjoy this delicious turkey made using her recipe. But the truth is, we don't need these reminders. She's always in our hearts. I'm so grateful to have been a part of her family.

Gratitude and Grief

It might seem like gratitude and grief don't go together, but they are deeply connected. When we love and appreciate someone, when we feel deep gratitude for their presence in our lives, it's natural to grieve when they are gone. Let's acknowledge both this Thanksgiving Day - how lucky we are to have had the one we miss so dearly.

Informational Thanksgiving Toast Examples

One of the best ways to toast is to mention the reason everyone has gathered - to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. Include a few factoids about why Thanksgiving is celebrated. This doesn't have to be boring at all. Think fun or informative facts about the holiday or quotes from famous people about Thanksgiving.

A group of friends celebrating Thanksgiving dinner together in a home

Bountiful Food Toast

George Bernard Shaw once said, "There is no love sincerer than the love of food." Once again, we gather to celebrate the harvest, to look upon the bounty of this table. We know that the real bounty is not in what lies before us, though it does smell delicious, but in what lies within us, the bond that connects all of us as one human family. We remember those who have given us the freedoms we now cherish, and we look toward the future and the many blessings it will bring. To today's gathering and many more to come. Cheers.

First Thanksgiving Toast

The first Thanksgiving was held as a celebration of life, of the fact that the Pilgrims survived difficult odds and made it through to the next year's harvest. Like those early settlers, our family has faced many challenges, but we always emerge stronger and closer in our bond. I am so very thankful for all of you here today. We made it through another year, together as always, in love and friendship. I am honored to be your host for this bountiful feast prepared with just as much love as you all have provided to me. Cheers.

Example Toasts About General Thankfulness

You can't go wrong if you talk about the importance of thankfulness in everyone's lives. After all, that's the point of the holiday. Speak about gratitude for both the large and small gifts in life. At a small gathering, it may be appropriate to include a short sentence about each person in attendance and how you are thankful for each one of those people. At a large dinner party or corporate affair, speak about the group as a whole, including their collective spirit and accomplishments.

Small Family Toast

I'd like to begin the meal with my personal thank you to all the family and friends in attendance. Mike, thank you for being the best husband a woman could have; I mean it. Marsha, you are a wonderful and supportive sister with a great taste in shoes. Bill, you know we would all be lost without your kind spirit and ability to find half-price airfare. Bethany, I'm so glad to call you my new sister-in-law. Cherie and Terry, we love your excitement, even when you want to play in the snow at 8 a.m. when we would all rather be sleeping. Thank you, every single one of you, for being here today, and for being in my life all year.

Large Group Toast

I'm glad we have such a large group this year; it's the only way I'll be spared from a month of turkey sandwiches. But on a serious note, I am truly blessed to call all of you my colleagues and many of you my close friends. Hopefully, by the end of tonight, I can transition all of you over to the close friend column. When I look at this group gathered here today, all I can think of is how wonderful it is that all of us can take some time out of our busy lives to share a meal together. I'm taking this moment to remember that this holiday is not about rushing to the mall to get the latest gotta-have toy, being stuck in traffic leaving the parking lot, or sitting on the computer trying to get that last budget report in. It's about relaxing, spending time with people who matter, and let's not forget - the food. Cheers!

Example Toasts With Current Event Commentary

Many people use Thanksgiving as a time to reflect on what has passed since the last year. At a family gathering where everyone is of like minds, it may be suitable to mention a few general comments on current topics relevant to the family, such as a new baby, marriage, children going to college, or even global events of concern.

Multiple Accomplishments Toast

One of my favorite quotes is, "Thanksgiving day is in the same month as election day so that we can drown our sorrows in gravy." Well, that is certainly true this year as we saw some of our faves get trounced in the midterms. But since we can't all afford to move to Canada, we better focus on the things that went well. First of all, the marriage of Camila and Jeff. Can I just say, what a beautiful expression of love? And, of course, Bella graduated from Yale and started her teaching career. Can you believe it? One year ago, she was just starting her internship. Now, "Miss Bella" is one of the most-loved instructors at Mt. Hood Academy. In fact, everyone here has grown so much since last November. And my love for you all has grown too, if that is indeed possible. Now, before I burst with pride, let's eat!

Family Strength Toast

I think the keyword for our family this year is "strength." We made it through some tough times: Frank's layoff, Julie's diagnosis. We made it through some good ones too: the arrival of Emma, Frank's new and even better job. How did we make it through the maze that was (year) without being worse for wear? We did it together. We provided shoulders to cry on and shoulders to climb on. We laughed together, and we worried together. We remained a family when it mattered most. That's what I'm so grateful for, this year and every year. Thank you for being my rocks.

Focus on Connection

I was thinking recently about what a crazy world we live in now. We're constantly connected in a technological sense, but the last few years have shown just how important real-life connection is, too. I just want to take a moment right now to be in this home at this table filled with delicious food and recognize that we're here together. I'm grateful to share this meal with the people who matter to me.

Formal Thanksgiving Toast Examples

Don't stress if you need to give a toast at a fancy Thanksgiving event. At a formal affair, just keep politics and religion to a minimum in a Thanksgiving speech to avoid ruffling the feathers of other guests. Tailor the toast to include information about the company at a corporate event or some general philosophical thoughts on gratitude and gratefulness at a larger dinner.

Happy family celebrating Thanksgiving day

Gratitude Toast

Having an attitude of gratitude is essential to leading a good life. That's why I make a list every morning of things I am thankful for. This morning's list was the names of the attendees of tonight's dinner. I'm so glad that all of you could make it. Some traveled thousands of miles, and some just walked a few hundred feet. Either way, I am so happy to have you here to share in the spirit of Thanksgiving. Although having everyone share their gratitude lists with the group would have us eating dessert on Christmas Day, I invite you to share with your neighbor and introduce yourselves to anyone around you that you don't know. Today, we are all family, and whether we are related to each other or not, we can certainly relate to each other. Cheers.

Autumn Thoughts Toast

Thank you all for joining us. It's been a long year, but it's been a great one, evidenced by just how many of us are here sharing a table. As we enjoy the feast of Thanksgiving, I invite each one of you to think of all the things you are grateful for: be it the crisp autumn leaves, your winning fantasy football team, or the look of wonder on your kid's face as he eyes the pumpkin pie. Try to remember just how fortunate we all are to be together on this special day. It's not often that we all are under one roof, and I cannot state enough what a blessing that is for me. Cheers.

Examples of Famous Thanksgiving Toasts

Popular television shows, holiday movies, and even politicians give Thanksgiving toasts each year. If you are looking for a modern or funny Thanksgiving toast, these famous examples might work for your gathering.

Barry's Thanksgiving Toast from The Goldbergs

Get ideas for a hilarious and interactive Thanksgiving toast from the holiday episode of TV show The Goldbergs. One of the opening lines is, "That's when Chris Columbo married Pocahontas..."

George's Thanksgiving Toast in Funny People

In the movie "Funny People," George's Thanksgiving toast is filled with slight humor and deep emotion as he talks about love and thanks. It's good inspiration for keeping your mood light.

President Obama's Thanksgiving Message

If you're looking for an inspirational toast to give to a large group of people, check out President Obama's 2012 Thanksgiving message. If you take out some of the timely events he references, you could use the rest of his speech as a brief toast about togetherness.

President Joe Biden's Thanksgiving Message On Covid Challenges

If you are looking for a Thanksgiving toast to give to immediate family members during challenging times, be inspired by Biden's message stressing the importance of keeping gatherings more intimate and having to forgo Thanksgiving traditions because we all care for one another.

President George W. Bush's Speech on Thanksgiving

Be inspired by former George W Bush's speech on first Thanksgiving after September 11th. He reminds Americans always have reason to hope and trust in God, despite great adversity.

President Clinton's 1997 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Former president Bill Clinton and his 1997 Thanksgiving Proclamation reminded Americans that everyone has something to contribute and that all are richer when we learn to share and leave no one behind.

Tips for Giving a Thanksgiving Toast

Learn how to give an impressive toast at your Thanksgiving feast and make it an annual tradition. Thanksgiving toasts are typically about the main reasons people celebrate Thanksgiving like gratitude, thankfulness, and family.

How to Write a Thanksgiving Toast

Writing a toast off the top of your head can be a challenge for even the most eloquent of speakers. Don't panic. You're going to rock this. Get started putting together some common elements and then tailoring the toast to the Thanksgiving occasion. Keep an outline of key points on hand for reference so you don't forget what you want to say.

  • Choose a Thanksgiving theme, such as autumn spice, and form your speech around it.
  • Open with a Thanksgiving fact and then relate it to your family and friends.
  • Turn your toast into a holiday blessing by including a Thanksgiving prayer in your speech.
  • Use quotes from your favorite Thanksgiving songs, movies, or shows to start or end the toast.
  • Recite a fun Thanksgiving poem as part of your toast or as the complete toast.

When to Give a Thanksgiving Toast

The secret to a top-shelf Thanksgiving toasting moment is timing. When to make the toast is truly up to the host and speaker. Ideally, the toast is delivered just before Thanksgiving dinner is served or just after the meal has ended, either before or after dessert. The speaker should signal the toast by tapping a glass with his or her knife. If this is your first time hosting Thanksgiving, you may want to give a heads' up to guests to expect a toast so that no one gets ahead of themselves on beginning their meal.

Don't Forget to Raise Your Glass

Some people get so nervous making their speeches that they forget to actually make the toast at the end. Don't be that guy. Make a mental (or literal) note to add a "Cheers" to the end of your speech. It's also a smart idea to make sure you ready everyone with drinks beforehand. Champagne and wine paired with Thanksgiving foods are commonly served drinks during toasts. However, some guests may prefer mixed drinks or non-alcoholic options. No matter what they choose, make sure everyone has a glass to raise, even if it's just filled with water. No one likes to be left out of this special moment, and it will be special - because your toast will be perfect.

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Thanksgiving Toasts to Make Any Celebration More Meaningful