Do you know that in early 6th Century B.C., the Greeks had a pretty simple solution for common social problems, such as disposing of an enemy, silencing the competition, or preventing a messy divorce? They spiked their wine with poison! So in order to reassure company that the wine was safe to drink, the host would pour wine from a common pitcher, drink it before his guests, and, satisfied that it was safe to enjoy, he would raise a glass to his friends to do the same.
Thus, the practice of offering a toast!
We are usually good at celebrating the big things — a new job, a wedding, an anniversary — the major milestones, and, of course, the holidays. But do you celebrate the little things? Things that happen every day, that we take for granted, or simply say “good job” and move on? Why not recognize them? A toast may be offered for any occasion, big or small, as a way in which to celebrate a person or an event.
1. You may drink to a toast with any type of beverage, including juice, milk, wine or even water — it doesn’t have to be champagne.
2. If you don’t care for what is in your glass, or find that your glass is empty, fake it. By raising your glass, you are offering your good wishes; to refrain from doing so sends the opposite message.
3. There are several theories behind the clinking of the glasses (or tankards). Sloshing wine into each other’s glass meant that if one was poisoned, all were poisoned; or, the noise was thought to drive the evil “spirits” out of the alcohol, making it safe to drink. However, the time to clink glasses has passed. Not only can it be hard on the glassware, but it is awkward to reach across and over people to make the gesture. Simply raise your glass with a smile and then drink.
4. If you are the one offering the toast, you may remain seated for a small group but do stand for a larger crowd in order to be heard. With all toasts, keep it short and simple — Begin, Be Brief, Be Seated.
5. If the toast is offered on your behalf, you do not drink. Because there is a natural tendency to do so if holding a glass, it is acceptable to leave it on the table. If the toast is of a general welcome or best wishes nature and not in honor of a specific person, then everyone may drink.
Make it a new habit to practice through-out the year!