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Etiquette Expert's Tips for New Year's Eve Toasting

December 28, 2017

In Mexico, New Year's Eve toasts can be quite lengthy, sometimes 2-3 minutes; occurring with much fanfare at midnight. Be patient and listen - you might learn something about the Mexican culture.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - New Year's Eve is almost here and, if you're attending any kind of social gathering to ring in the New Year, chances are someone is going to offer a toast. But just what are the do's and don'ts of toasting?

Access to Culture founder and etiquette expert Sharon Schweitzer offers these tips:

• First Toast: In light of their planning, and financing, the host or hostess of the dinner or social party offers the first toast. At an informal dinner party or table of friends, however, a guest can propose the first toast to thank the host for organizing the event.

• To Clink or Not to Clink? Today it's not necessary. You may choose to clink your glass, or not. Avoid making others uncomfortable by refraining from comments like "I don't clink." Etiquette is about others feeling comfortable in your presence.

• Observing Toast Boundaries: In Mexico, New Year's Eve toasts can be quite lengthy, sometimes 2-3 minutes; occurring with much fanfare at midnight. Be patient and listen - you might learn something about the Mexican culture.

• Champagne Bottle Opening: There is a proper way to open a bottle of champagne to avoid the spray, injuring someone with the cork, or spilling a precious drop. Hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle while grasping the champagne cork gently with the one hand, and turn the bottom of the bottle firmly with the other hand. Be sure to twist the bottom of the bottle slowly, until you feel the cork gently release in your hand.

• Non-alcoholic toasts: Toasting is about the sentiment of the occasion, not the liquid in the glass. Some guests refrain from consuming alcohol for health and medical reasons. People undergoing medical treatment, in recovery, or taking certain prescription medication cannot take even "just one sip." It is impolite to insist that they do, because they can still acceptably join in the toasting with a sparkling beverage, ginger ale, club soda, seltzer, or juice. If you do not drink and are offered an alcoholic beverage, simply say 'no thank you.'

• Bonus Tip - New Year's Eve Kisses: If you don't want to be kissed by strangers, stay close to your date, extend your hand for a handshake, provide your cheek for an 'air-kiss' or excuse yourself before midnight.

Everyone here at Banderas News would like to wish all of you a safe New Year’s Eve and a very happy 2018, complete with good health, lots of love, beauty, laughter, music and all other good things!

Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural consultant, an international protocol expert and the founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. She is accredited in intercultural management, is a regular on-air contributor and has been quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, Fortune, Inc., The New York Times, The Vancouver Sun, The Bangkok Post and numerous other media. She is the best-selling, international award-winning author of "Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide," which was named to the Best Books of 2015 by Kirkus Reviews.