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Notes from the vineyard

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I guess its official – the end of summer is quickly approaching and the great holidays like Halloween and Christmas are even closer – or at least that’s how it appears at Walmart, Target, Giant Eagle and Jo Ann Fabric stores. What makes me even sadder is the number  of requests we are receiving to book Christmas parties, order Christmas party supplies and Christmas gifts. So, since everyone else seems to be ahead of the game, it’s time for me to get involved in the excitement.

How many of you will have to give a toast at the holiday party this year? Or maybe you have some other great party before the holidays you need to have a toast prepared. What do you do? What do you say? How do you give a toast? Well, thanks to stores for the reminder the first thing you need to do to give an excellent toast is to be prepared and give yourself ample time to write your toast. So, since the stores are preparing for the holidays, maybe now would be a good time to start thinking about that toast.

Now that you have all this time, what should you do next? I recommend writing down a couple of sentences as you think about the toast. You don’t need to sit for an hour and think about it but as you are preparing for the event, keep a pen and paper close by in case you come up with some ideas. Then a couple of weeks before you toast, compile the list of thoughts and start to compose your toast.

Remember – short and sweet is the key to a good toast. You are keeping your guests from food and drinks so no one wants to listen to a 30 minute toast while they see the food getting colder. Keep your toast positive, even if the economy hasn’t been the best this year, keep the troubles out of your toast – this is supposed to be a fun party.

When the day finally arrives to give the toast, take a few deep breaths. Then, as your time comes to toast the group, stand up straight and grab your glass. As you come to a close in your toast, be sure to end it with another positive sentiment and either “Cheers” or “To our guests” to signal that it is okay to drink.

Amanda is the Co-Owner of Candlelight Winery located at 11325 Center Road, Garrettsville.  For more information on other wine topics  please visit www.candlelightwinery.com.

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Amanda Conkol and her husband Chris are the owners of Candlelight Winery in Garrettsville, Ohio. Amanda’s passion for wine is evident in her weekly column “Notes From The Vineyard”, but that’s not all Amanda is passionate about. She maintains a full schedule raising twin daughters, working a day job consulting as an IT Project Manager and is the Girl Troop Leader for her daughters’ troop. When time allows Amanda loves to travel (especially to Disney World) and go for runs throughout Nelson Township.