At a time when issues ranging from the fiscal cliff to the still-fresh wounds of the 2012 elections have caused persistent rifts between the parties, Thanksgiving has brought statements from lawmakers giving thanks for America's advantages and calling on the public to unite.

McConnell acknowledged those political rifts, but suggested in his statement that Americans should let them go for the holiday.

"Today is a day to put aside the political disagreements of the moment and join together in recognition of our many blessings, knowing that among the greatest of these is the ability to call ourselves Americans," he said.

President Obama, in his Thanksgiving Day message, also hit a similar note, suggesting that the holiday could help Americans heal after a hard-fought campaign. 

“As a nation, we’ve just emerged from a campaign season that was passionate, noisy, and vital to our democracy. But it also required us to make choices – and sometimes those choices led us to focus on what sets us apart instead of what ties us together; on what candidate we support instead of what country we belong to,” said Obama.

“Thanksgiving is a chance to put it all in perspective – to remember that, despite our differences, we are, and always will be, Americans first and foremost,” he added.