Whether hosting your own Thanksgiving feast or guesting a Thanksgiving with relatives or friends, everyone can agree it takes a tremendous amount of effort to pull it all together.  As Thanksgiving has become quite the coveted holiday, hosts begin formulating their invitations weeks, months and, in some cases, years in advance to get a jump start on their competitors.  Other more casual feasts may be thrown together on a last minute whim, but that does not make their affair any less significant. 

Regardless of the number of attendees in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, hosts both grand and low-key are busy mapping out their marketing lists, figuring out when to thaw the turkey, counting the number of green beans they’ll use to make their green bean casseroles and belaboring what outfit they’ll wear to bring the festivities all together.  They may painstakingly figure out every detail of the event making sure the hors d’oeuvres are set just so, the candles are strategically lit and the perfect mood music is playing softly in the background. 
With hosting comes the great responsibility of taking care of your mixture of guests.  Oftentimes they will be called upon to strike a delicate balance between elegant host and marriage family child counselor making sure everyone is getting along and having a nice time.  They must be able to put out fires in the kitchen with the same effortlessness that they put out firestorms in the living room.  They must be armed with the resourcefulness to remove a red wine stain on the rug with the same proficiency that they are able to remove an inebriated relative away from the cocktails.  Basically, they must be infallible and able to meet any challenge with grace, ingenuity and composure.

Such skillfulness and dexterity is more than deserving of a proper toast on this special day of thanks.  So how do we honor our illustrious hosts with the most?  We do so by toasting them at the beginning of the meal when everyone’s attention is focused and excited about the eating extravaganza ready to take place.  To ensure that you sound your most eloquent in front of family and friends, here are a few tips for both toasting your host and receiving a toast if you are the host on Thanksgiving Day. 

Proposing a Toast to the Host

  • Although typically a host would make the first toast, before the Thanksgiving meal, it is nice for a designated individual at the table to invite everyone attending to raise their glass to toast their host. 
  • Begin by obtaining everyone’s attention in the room by using a projecting voice and repeating the words, “I would like to propose a toast.”  If you must, you may pick up a clean knife from the table and use it to gently tap the side of your glass as a way to alert people that you are going to begin your toast. 
  • Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what we are thankful for, for the incredible food we are lucky to have on our tables and for the graciousness and generosity of our host. When preparing your toast, be sincere and speak from the heart.  Keep your toast simple and to the point, about a minute in length. 
  • Remember to stand, make good eye contact with the host and end the toast with an endearing phrase such as “Cheers, Here, Here or Here’s to You” along with your host’s name.  Conclude by inviting everyone in unison to raise their glasses together.

The Host as Recipient of the Toast
  • Most importantly, the host never raises their glass along with others when they are being toasted. One never toasts to oneself. 
  • When being honored, the elegant host simply stays seated and with a warm and generous smile, graciously says, “thank you” to their guests.
  • Once the toast is completed and the attention is diverted, the host may take a sip of their beverage.

Final Toasting Tip for All
Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to clink glasses when toasting and there is quite a history as to how the ritual of clinking glasses originated. As society has evolved so have the theories that have gone along with it.  The first, and most popular, is that the clinking glasses was performed to ensure the safety of the drinks and make sure no poison was exchanged. The gesture was also made, some thought, to create a noise to scare off evil spirits. Other theorists believed the clinking was added to create an audible sound to satisfy the final sixth sense of hearing.  Today the clinking of glasses is simply a gesture we perform as an expression of goodwill towards others. We generally toast on special occasions, for weddings or other significant events.  The most popular toast is to good health.

Any time honored Thanksgiving toasting tips you would like to add? Share with us, we’d love to hear from you!  Happy Thanksgiving!!