Making toasts wasn’t always a wedding thing, the province solely of a best man and a maid of honor. In early America, every official dinner and banquet presented an opportunity to give not one or two but thirteen toasts, and for the ancient Greeks, toasting was an offer of libation to the gods—it also confirmed that the wine had not been poisoned.
The beauty of the toast is that the gesture is not only verbal but also physical: it draws your hand and your glass upward in an offering of appreciation and gratitude before you can savor the contents. Toasting draws you beyond the wrapping paper to the gift itself: the reason for the occasion, and the reason for the drink. Then there is the communal aspect: the meeting of gazes, the clinking of glass. Toasting joins you to your fellow gift recipients. What better way to honor on His nativity Him who turned water into wine than to raise a glass? If you’re preparing the toast for the Christmas dinner, here are seven quotes that may come in handy:
A good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely. —Charles Dickens
The fun of Christmas is founded on the seriousness of Christmas. —G. K. Chesterton
It is, indeed, the season of regenerated feeling—the season for kindling, not merely the fire of hospitality in the hall, but the genial flame of charity in the heart. —Washington Irving
I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old, familiar carols play And wild and sweet the words repeat Of peace on earth, good-will to men! —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Another glass; it is Christmas time, it will do you no harm. —William Makepeace Thackeray
Heap on more wood!—the wind is chill; But let it whistle as it will, We’ll keep our Christmas merry still. —Sir Walter Scott
A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world! —Charles Dickens
From all of us at ISI to all of you, a blessed, happy, healthy, and merry Christmas.