Capturing the Essence of the Holidays: 35 Uplifting Quotes to Inspire and Reflect

With October wrapping up in less than two weeks, Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here before you know it. So, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite inspirational quotes that capture the true spirit of the holidays! Let’s check them out!

These inspirational quotes really capture the true meaning and spirit of the holidays! Use them as journal prompts, in handmade cards, and more. Check them out!

Inspirational Quotes That Really Capture the True Spirit of the Holidays

Add these inspiring quotes about the holidays to journals (some make great prompts), include them in handmade cards, or even print them out and hang them up as a reminder to reflect on the true spirit of the season. Anything goes, really!

1. Engage the whole world in a conspiracy of love

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” –Hamilton Wright Mabie
“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” –Hamilton Wright Mabie

Finally, a conspiracy that I can actually get behind!

2.  The ingredients for a merry feast

“Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.” – William Shakespeare

A simple quote, but a great reminder that it doesn’t take much to make a holiday feast “merry.” You don’t need a fancy menu or expensive wine. Just welcoming loved ones into your home and spreading a little cheer is all it takes!

3. Put others’ happiness before your own

“The true Christmas spirit is putting others’ happiness before our own, and finding you’ve never known such happiness.” ― Toni Sorenson

Shouldn’t this be the true spirit of life in general and not just Christmas? If we all cared about each other’s happiness at least as much as our own, the world would be a much brighter place.

4. Be thankful for what you have and…

Oprah quote about thanksgiving
“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

Thanksgiving is about being grateful for what we have. So use this time to really reflect on all of the good things in your life rather than focusing on what’s missing.

5. … you won’t notice the things you lack so much

“It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.” ― Germany Kent

This one goes along with Oprah’s quote. Once you start thinking about all of those good things in your life, the things that you feel you’re lacking start to take a back seat. Maybe they’re never truly gone from your mind, especially if they’re really big things (like a lost loved one), but they do “blur” a bit go out of focus so to speak.

6. It really is all about the little things

“Sometimes the little things in life mean the most.” ― Ellen Hopkins

One last quote to really drive home Oprah’s point. As I’ve said so many times before, it really is the little things that make life so worth living.

7. The true magic of the holidays is how we fill empty hearts with joy

“The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others’ burdens, easing others’ loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of the holidays.” – W. C. Jones

How we all come together to help each other, ease each other’s burdens, and fill everyone’s hearts with joy is all part of what makes the holidays such a magical time.

8. The holidays bring us all together

“Holidays–any holiday–are such a great opportunity to focus on bringing the family together.” –Lidia Bastianich

“Holidays–any holiday–are such a great opportunity to focus on bringing the family together.” –Lidia Bastianich 

Tis the season for letting go of old grudges, forgiving the people who matter most, or at least putting aside your differences for one day so you can enjoy what precious little time you have together.

9. It’s how we use our blessings that matter the most.

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

It’s not enough to just say that you’re thankful for your blessings. What matters, even more, is how you use them. Which brings us to…

10. Share the things you’re thankful for

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

There’s no better way to show that you’re truly grateful for your gifts, your talents, or your blessings than to share them with others.

11. Thankfulness leads to peace…

 “Thankfulness creates gratitude which generates contentment that causes peace.” – Todd Stocker

Did you know that there is a difference between being thankful and being grateful? According to the philosopher Henri Frederic Amiel, “Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.” 

What Todd Stocker is saying is that when you’re thankful for something, you show your gratitude. That, in turn, leads to feelings of contentment, which above all else is the best way to find peace in your life. Plus, when you’re at peace, you’ll often learn that you have so much more than you ever imagined, which leads back to thankfulness. So it’s a beautiful circle.

12. A great explanation of gratitude vs. thankfulness

gratitude vs thankfulness quote
“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.”—Henry Van Dyke.

This is another (and slightly less wordy) way of explaining the difference between gratitude and thankfulness.

13. Thanksgiving is for everyone

“What I love about Thanksgiving is that it’s purely about getting together with friends or family and enjoying food. It’s really for everybody, and it doesn’t matter where you’re from.”—Daniel Humm

It doesn’t matter which religion you follow, what your politics are, or where you’re from. Thanksgiving truly is a holiday for everyone. (Oh, and for those thinking it’s only an American holiday, it’s actually not. Many countries have their own versions of the holiday, just on different days than ours.

14. Enjoy authentic moments together

During these special times of year, take advantage of the opportunity you have to spend time with loved ones, have real conversations and enjoy authentic moments.
During these special times of year, take advantage of the opportunity you have to spend time with loved ones, have real conversations and enjoy authentic moments.

Okay, so this isn’t really a quote so much as a message that’s usually sent home with school bulletins around the holidays, but it’s a great reminder of what the season is all about: spending time together talking and making memories.

15. Let’s be grateful for the people who make our hearts happy

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”—Marcel Proust

With so much craziness in the world and so many people fighting with each other, the holidays are a great time to just take a moment to be thankful for the people who always bring joy to your heart.

16. Don’t wait until Christmas to show people you love them

“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?” – Bob Hope

I agree with Bob Hope, we should love each other every day and not just from late November through the New Year. We should never wait to tell people how much we love them. Remember, tomorrow isn’t promised.

17. The things that make a Christmas truly merry

“Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.” – Peg Bracken
“Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.” – Peg Bracken

More than anything else in this world, your family needs time with you, not more stuff. So rather than trying to outdo last year’s pile under the tree, why not give each other the gift of time? If you need some ideas, check out these amazing meaningful experience gifts.

18. Christmas unleashes our inner child

 “Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas time.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder

Christmas is the one day of the year when all of our inner children are invited to come out and play. I think we should embrace that feeling every day. After all, getting older doesn’t mean giving up on fun!

19. The best Christmas gift suggestions ever…

“Christmas gift suggestions: to your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.” – Oren Arnold

I think these Christmas gift suggestions beautifully capture everything that the holiday is supposed to mean. Forgive the people who have wronged you, even if you can’t forget. Learn to at least tolerate different opinions, even if you’ll never agree. Give your loved ones the gift they want most, your heart. Be kind to each other, be a good role model. Most of all, love yourself.

20. Sing it loud for all to hear…

“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”—Buddy (Elf)

You don’t have to literally sing (but go ahead if you want to!). To me, this means just putting your cheer out there for the whole world to feel.

21. Believing is seeing

christmas movie quotes
“Seeing isn’t believing. Believing is seeing.”—Judy the Elf (The Santa Clause)

This is one of my favorite Christmas movie quotes. We don’t need to see something to believe in it. So many of the most wonderful things about life are completely intangible. We can’t “see” love, kindness, empathy, joy, peace…or any emotion really. We have to feel them and to do that we have to believe that they exist in the first place.

22. It’s never too late to change tomorrow

“That’s the one good thing about regret: it’s never too late. You can always change tomorrow if you want to.”— Claire Phillips (Scrooged)

One of the best quotes from Scrooged is something that I think we all need to remember every day. It’s only too late when we’re gone. As long as you’re still breathing, there’s a chance to change things.

23. Christmas memories aren’t planned, they’re made

“That’s what Christmas memories are made from, they’re not planned, they’re not scheduled, nobody puts them in their Blackberry, they just happen.”— Kelly Finch (Deck the Halls)

Okay, so this one dated itself by referring to Blackberries (do they even still exist?), but you get the point of it, right? We can’t put “make Christmas memories” on our calendar. They’re something that just happens when we spend time together.

24. The holidays are a frame of mind…

“Christmas isn’t just a day. It’s a frame of mind.” – Kris Kringle (Miracle on 34th Street)

The same is true of any of the winter holidays. They’re not just some date on the calendar, they’re a whole frame of mind and state of being.

25. Christmas is like candy…

christmas is like candy quote
“Christmas is like candy; it slowly melts in your mouth sweetening every taste bud, making you wish it could last forever.” – Richelle E. Goodrich

Maybe Christmas can’t come every single day, but we can make the feeling last forever if we just treat every season like the holiday season.

26. It’s about how much love we put into giving

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” –Mother Theresa
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” –Mother Theresa

A good reminder that the holidays aren’t about how much money we spend on each other, but the love that we put into each gift that we do give. The best gifts come from the heart, after all.

27. Kindness, like snow, makes everything beautiful

“Kindness is like snow. It beautifies everything it covers.” –Kahlil Gibran

A simple act of kindness or a tiny good deed makes the world just as beautiful as freshly fallen snow does.

28. All roads lead home…

“At Christmas, all roads lead home.” – Marjorie Holmes
“At Christmas, all roads lead home.” – Marjorie Holmes

As long as you hold the memories of all of the holidays you’ve spent together with your family, you’ll always be “home” for the holidays in spirit.

29. The holidays are like a favorite story

“I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending.” – Fred Rogers

The holidays really are like a favorite, treasured story that we never get tired of hearing.

30. My holiday wish for everyone…

“May your walls know joy, may every room hold laughter, and every window open to great possibility.” –Mary Anne Radmacher

What better holiday wish to make than to hope that everyone in the world feels joy, finds laughter, and realizes that every moment we’re alive is a moment filled with possibilities?

31. The holidays remind us that we have people we’d do anything for, and vice-versa

“As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December’s bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same.” – Donald E. Westlake

Even the “worst” parts of the holiday season- the long lines, the cold days, the hours spent wrapping and cooking and planning- are reminders that we have people in our lives that we’d do anything for and that there are people who’d do anything for us.

32. We all have a place in the pattern

“Every piece of the universe, even the tiniest little snow crystal, matters somehow. I have a place in the pattern, and so do you. ”
“Every piece of the universe, even the tiniest little snow crystal, matters somehow. I have a place in the pattern, and so do you. ”

If the holidays bring you sadness instead of joy, remember this: you matter. You have a place in the grand fabric of the universe. You are important.

33. Winter is a time for home

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” –Edith Sitwell

There’s no place like home any time of the year, but it’s especially comforting during the winter. There’s just nothing like curling up in front of a fire surrounded by the people you love. It really helps chase away the chill- literally and metaphorically.

34. Perhaps Christmas means a little bit more

“Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
“Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

I think that’s one of the best inspirational quotes about the holidays to finish this off, don’t you? The holidays (whichever one you celebrate) mean so much more than anything you can find in a store. If you remember that, you’ll always keep the true meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas in your heart.

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