The Dos and Don’ts of Making a Perfect Holiday Toast
Eye contact optional
There’s nothing better than having the family all together, right? In fact, you’re feeling so warm and fuzzy that you’d like to raise your glass and say something…anything…wait, why is Cousin Ed staring at you, and why did you drink so much eggnog in the past half hour?
Here, a quick refresher on how to raise your glass, give a toast and get on with your life.
DO STAND UP
Especially if there are more than a few people in the room. Let them see your beautiful face! Plus, as much fun as it is to tap your Champagne glass with a knife, standing up is actually the best way to the signal that it’s time to listen up.
DON’T STEAL THE HOSTESS’S THUNDER
As the person who assembled the beautiful party/meal/200 person gala, she's got first dibs on raising a glass. If she'd rather not, the floor is yours--just be sure to clear it with her first.
DO IDENTIFY YOURSELF
Your sister’s husband’s brother might not remember your name. Help the guy out by starting your toast with a brief introduction.
DON’T DRINK IF THE TOAST IS ABOUT YOU
It’s almost like you’re slow-clapping yourself.
DO TOP YOURSELF (AND EVERYONE ELSE) OFF
An empty glass is an awkward glass. If you’re not drinking, toast with diet coke (superstition says that toasting with water is bad luck).
DON’T DRINK TOO MUCH BEFORE GETTING UP THERE
It’s all fun and games until you accidentally out your brother-in-law.
DO KEEP IT LIGHT
Sharing a funny story is good. Talking about the refugee crisis is not.
DON’T CLINK OR DEMAND EYE CONTACT
The French say you should clink while making eye contact…or else. But depending on how many people are around the table, it’s perfectly reasonable to simply raise your glass to eye level, say “Cheers!” then take a sip.
DO KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET
It’s a toast, not a speech. People will start losing interest after, oh, 90 seconds.
DON’T OVERTHINK IT
It’s a family gathering--not the Oscars.