In the United States, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.
Most people celebrate by gathering together with friends and family and having a Thanksgiving Day meal (aka feast).
I celebrate with my family for lunch and then with my in-laws for dinner on Thanksgiving day. Other families may have their meal on Friday (if not shopping!), Saturday or Sunday.
If you went to someone else’s home (even if it was your parents), I recommend sending the host a thank-you note to show your gratitude. They may have spent a good deal of time getting ready for Thanksgiving.
When I originally wrote this post back in 2014, it was focused on thanking the host family. Since then, I’ve added example messages for thanksgiving dinner, thanking someone for coming, and thanks for the invitation.
Reasons to thank the Thanksgiving host family:
* The host family may have made all of the food like my mom did (thanks, mom!). Feeding 10, 20, or more is not free! Preparing that much food also takes many hours. Also, preparing several dishes and having them all ready at the same time is not as easy as it seems. Crockpots can help with this!
* They will (hopefully) have cleaned their house.
* There will be clean up! Some people may appreciate it if you offer to clean up the dishes, while others prefer to do it themselves. After all, can you load someone else’s dishwasher “right”?).
* Someone may be missing the football game they wanted to watch to have you at their house.
* They invited you into their home.
* They may have had to make special arrangements for their pets. If they have big dogs, perhaps they had to board them in a kennel. If you are allergic to cats, perhaps they kept their cats sequestered.
* They may have made your favorite Thanksgiving dish that they do not like themselves. I have a hard time making food that I do not like!
* You were able to see other members of your extended family.
* They made you a turkey (or other Thanksgiving favorites)!
* To thank someone for bringing pie, cake, or cookies, review the examples here.
Your thank you note will show the host family that their efforts are appreciated.
1. Remember, the best thank you note tip is to name something specific in your note that you appreciated.
2. Thanksgiving is an occasion worthy of a three or four-sentence thank you note, but one sentence is better than not thanking them at all.
3. If you will see them at Christmas or other December holidays, you can mention that you are looking forward to seeing them then.
4. If you hated a dish, don’t mention that one. Pick a dish that you enjoyed to compliment. Or compliment the house in some way.
Thanksgiving Thank You Note Message Template
Dear [insert host name],
Thank you for having me [use us if someone in your immediate family also went] over for Thanksgiving. [insert reason 1 for being thankful]. [insert reason 2 or a compliment]. I look forward to seeing you again in December.
Thanksgiving Thank You Note Examples
Thank you for having us over for Thanksgiving and for preparing all of the food. My favorite dish was the corn casserole. We also enjoyed spending time with you and the family.
More examples – only the center section of the note:
#1 We had a wonderful time at your house for Thanksgiving dinner. Thank you for hosting again this year. Your mashed potatoes are the best! And my kids enjoy playing with their cousins.
#2 Thank you for including me in your family’s Thanksgiving celebration. I am happy to have friends to share holidays with when I am not able to travel home. Your decorations were perfect for Thanksgiving, especially that unique orange leaf print tablecloth. I had a lovely day.
#3 We are grateful that you and your family were able to host Thanksgiving this year. We will plan for Christmas at our house. Your house felt very cozy, and the deep-fried turkey was a treat! We appreciate all the effort to get your house ready and make all the food!
#4 Thanks for hosting Thanksgiving. We had a great time visiting with the family and playing Scrabble. The guys were also happy to watch some of the football games since we canceled cable at home.
#5 My family had an enjoyable Thanksgiving at your house. Bob appreciated that you kept your cat in your bedroom since he is allergic to cats. He made it through the day without needing a Benedryl. The pumpkin pie made from fresh pumpkin was the best pumpkin pie I ever had!
Thank you for the Thanksgiving dinner messages
#1 Thank you for inviting us to Thanksgiving dinner. The meal was excellent. The homemade dinner rolls and stuffing were my favorite. Your home is lovely, and we enjoyed visiting with our cousins. Thank you for hosting again this year.
#2 Thank you for Thanksgiving dinner. We had a great time visiting with your family. I am impressed that Buster is at the top of his class at college. He seems excited about his future after graduating. The food was great too! I loved your Brussel Sprouts recipe.
#3 Wow, you are a good cook! Thank you for making us such a wonderful Thanksgiving meal. Also, Ted enjoyed hanging out with Jake watching the football games. Thank you for opening up your home to us!
#4 Thank you for including us in your family’s Thanksgiving day gathering. The turkey and all the side dishes made for an excellent dinner. The butter in the shape of a turkey was neat too! And as always, we enjoyed your home and the conversation.
#5 Thanks for the Thanksgiving dinner! I was super surprised when you offered to drop off a plate for me. After working all day, I figured I had missed out on a nice Thanksgiving meal. I appreciate you for remembering me.
Thank you for coming to Thanksgiving dinner
#1 Thank you for coming to Thanksgiving at my house and for bringing the corn casserole. It seemed like everyone liked it and saved me some time in the kitchen. Your children are growing up so fast, and I treasure spending time with them at family gatherings.
#2 Thank you for bringing all of the side dishes to Thanksgiving lunch. I am always impressed with your organizational skills, and the dishes were so tasty. I enjoyed spending the day visiting with you around the table, and I am looking forward to seeing you again on Christmas day!
#3 Thank you for coming to Thanksgiving dinner. We like it when your family comes over. The kids have great fun playing games with your kids. Also, thank you for helping me clean up the kitchen after the meal.
#4 Thanks for coming to Thanksgiving dinner last Saturday. The kids love spending time with you and think you are the best aunt ever. We were glad that you could spend the day with us and of course thank you for bringing the corn cassrole.
Thank you for inviting me or us to Thanksgiving dinner
Notes: These examples are for accepting or declining the invite before the dinner. If you’ve already attended the meal, you can use one of the first ten examples above and perhaps add or modify it to include “thank you for inviting me.”
#1 Thank you for inviting me to Thanksgiving dinner. I am pleased to say that I will be there! Please let me know if I should bring a side dish. See you then!
#2 Thank you for the invitation to Thanksgiving dinner. Since it’s on Saturday this year, we can make it! We are going to Bob’s family gathering on Thursday. We appreciate the invite.
#3 Thanks for inviting us to your Thanksgiving dinner. With us being new in town and no family here, we appreciate being included. I am grateful that our family will be celebrating with our new friends. Please plan to see all four of us on Thursday at six.
#4 Unfortunately, we will not be able to attend your Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. We will be at Ted’s parents. You were very kind to think of us and invite us. I appreciate your friendship.
#5 We received your invitation for Thanksgiving dinner in the mail yesterday. I am sorry, but we will not be able to make it. Thank you for inviting us, though, as we do appreciate it being asked. It’s a busy time of year, but I hope we can see you in December.
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!
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