With the holiday season approaching, many of us find our calendars filling up with seasonal celebrations and gatherings. One of my favorite, yet underutilized traditions, is the art of giving a toast. There are few traditions as sacred as that of the toast. What may have started as a libation offering to the gods became a tradition for honoring guests. Once upon a time, a host drank from the communal vessel to prove goodwill (and the absence of poison) before offering drink to a guest. Now we use the toast to formalize relationships and offer praise at the most elaborate of functions, but never underestimate or forget the power of the informal toast to convey that same honor and goodwill among friends and family gathered with much less formality.

Words by modern day etiquette expert, Daniel Post Senning