Toasting Season!

The holidays are upon us!  With Thanksgiving barely done, we are now moving on to the Christmas season which means more opportunities for us to practice our Holiday Toasts.

Last year, I started with a few basic tips for your Holiday cheer.  Here’s a link to that short blog: Holiday Toasts

Hot Coco Toast - image from

Here are seven additional tips to help you through the evening…

  1. Don’t be long-winded.  We’ve all been to events where you wonder whether the speaker will ever end.  It helps to have some ideas handy ahead of time to keep you on point for your toast.  See #3 below.
  2. Stand to give a toast; remain seated to receive one.  This tip has mixed reviews depending upon who you ask.  I have found it is easier to sit and give a toast if you are at a small, intimate dinner party.  On the other hand, it is much easier to project your voice at a party while standing.
  3. Prepare ahead of time – know what you’re going to say.  If you have your thoughts put together, you will be more comfortable giving a toast.  You are also less likely to ramble (see #1 above) and you are less likely to say something inappropriate.
  4. Mention those you’re toasting by name, your relationship to them and a thought about their future good fortune.  This helps other guests understand the meaning behind a toast.  I’ve given a toast at a wedding in which the only people I have known are the bride and her immediate family.
  5. Add witty and personal remembrances wherever possible. This definitely personalizes a toast, but again, keep in mind #1 above.  It does not hurt to speak to people individually and thank them.
  6. Speak slowly and loudly enough for all guests to hear. What more can I say on this?  If you speak to fast, to softly, or you mumble, all of your hard work and good intentions are wasted.
  7. Don’t forget to cap off your toast with a hearty:
  • International – “Cheers!”
  • French “A vote santé” (to your health) or the shorter “Santé!” or “Tchin” (cheers)
  • German – wine is ‘Zum Wohl!’ (‘good health’)
  • Dutch – proost (rhymes with boast) “Cheers”
  • Belgium – Sante
  • Ukrainian – bud-mo! (to everyone’s health), za vas! (here’s to you), and za-ho-spo-da-riv! (here’s to our hosts)
  • Polish – “Na zdrowia!” (pronounced nah ZDRO-vee-ah, meaning “To your health!”)
  • Czech – “Na Zdravi!” which means “to your health”
  • Dominican – “Salud” which means “health”
  • Filipino – “Mabuhay!”—which means “Long life!”

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