How to Make a Proper Holiday Toast | Meredith Sweetpea | Manners & Etiquette


Toast to the Holidays

Here we are at the holidays once again, a time for family, friends, merriment, feasting, and toasting.

Toasting is a way of celebrating that certainly isn’t new. It dates back to the Greek and Roman times, and even earlier, where toasts were made to the gods. Today, toasting is a way of marking a celebration to friendship, health, happiness, wealth or love, where the sentiment is most important.

The bests toasts are those made from the heart. They are simple heartfelt messages that bring joy to all in the room. They are not opportunities for bad humor, barbs, or airing one’s griefs. Instead, they should be used to offer thanks, highlight successes, invoke special memories, express honor, or offer tidings to the future or good will.

Now that we know a little more about toasts, here are some general rules of toasting to get you through the holiday and New Year celebrations:

General Rules of Toasting

1. Host toasts first

The host or hostess should offer the first toast at a formal occasion. At an informal one, other guests can offer the first toast, thanking the host or hostess as their first offering.

2. Standing or sitting

If you are already sitting, unless you are asked to “rise and raise your glass,” you should remain seated. The person giving the toast should rise, stand in one place and hold their glass chest-high in one position during the entire toast.

3. Short and clean

Toasts should be short, to the point, and certainly kept G-rated. It helps to practice your toast in advance.

4. Non-alcoholic toasts

It is perfectly acceptable to toast with whatever liquid is in your glass, be it champagne, wine, water, juice, soda, fruit juice, etc. A toast does not have to involve alcohol, although it usually does.

5. Eye contact

The rule is to make and maintain eye contact throughout the toast. Do not look at your glass.

6. The honoree

The honoree(s) should neither stand nor drink as the toast is being offered. Following the toast, he or she should stand and offer thanks to the host, but not necessarily offer a toast in return.

7. Not toasting

Not raising one’s glass, putting one’s glass down during a toast, and not sipping from the glass following the toast are all manners infractions and can be considered rude behavior.

Miss Meredith Sweetpea looks forward to the joy this holiday season will bring and offers a toast to the end of the old year and the beginning of the new year.


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