Raise your glasses in a Christmas toast

Published: 10th December 2009
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It's a heart-warming thought to think of the Christmas toast. It conjures up pictures of happy families gathered round the festive table lifting their glasses in a seasonal toast. Alternatively, it is something we associate with the boss's speech at the annual office party. There is no doubt but that he will end it with a Christmas toast.

Of course there are many people who don't celebrate Christmas and most of them raise "Happy holiday" toasts instead. Somehow, though, that is more motivational than heart-warming. A Christmas toast is a toast to the joy and to the merriment that is Christmas. A Christmas toast is about the magic of Christmas. A Christmas toast is about the mystery of Christmas and what it means to each one of us.

Perhaps that's because toasts are traditional in themselves. .In fact they go back to the ancient world. Ulysses drank a toast to Achilles in the Odyssey. The ancient Romans drank toasts to Augustus. and no Victorian gathering would be the same without toasts to their host.

Have a look at Christmas cards. Many of them show people raising their glasses in a toast. The picture will usually have a big fire lighting up the room, a symbol of that Christmas warmth. Whatever language is used the toast is to Christmas and what it means in our lives.

Toasts convey thanks and good wishes. There are Christening toasts, birthday toasts and wedding toasts. In fact toasts can convey any human emotion such as pride in one's battalion or country. A Christmas toast, however, is all about warmth and good fellowship. It's about the Christmas message of peace on earth and good will to all. It's a summing up of all the good things we associate with the festive season.

Some people will merely say "Here's to a happy Christmas" but a toast should be much more than that. A good Christmas toast embodies all the elements of the season. It is a challenge to a speaker to compose one that really means something special and seasonal. You may want to include mention of Mistletoe or Holly. Your toast might mention Santa and the Christmas tree. It could be about charity and the crib. It could be about friendship and fun or the fairy lights and plum pudding. You decide and you make the appropriate toast. The toast should be about what you believe the season to be.

Whether it's a family gathering, an office party or a formal function writing a good toast is a challenge. If you are giving a Christmas toast you should meet that challenge and write one that is as meaningful as Christmas itself.

Niamh Crowe started her speech writing career with Holiday toasts. That was 20 years ago. To date she has written thousands of different speeches like bride speeches, birthday speeches, farewell speeches and Christmas toast etc.

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