Welcome back, class. Your favorite cigar lessons are back in session.
Yesterday I was driving into the city and sitting in horrible traffic. It was the type of traffic that only Pittsburgh folks can appreciate. You’re on a main highway that somehow only has two lanes. Somewhere ahead are flashing lights and you know that you’re sitting in park because everybody in the “moving” lane needs to stop and watch what’s happening with the fender bender in the other lane. My blood was boiling and my frustration was so strong that I’m sure the people in the car behind me could taste it.
After 45 minutes, I managed to travel the half of a mile to where the “accident” had taken place and I understood it all. There was a car vs. truck showdown that took place and nobody was winning. If that were the end of the story, you’d probably still be able to feel my rage through the words that I’m typing right now. That was not the end of the story, however. It seemed that the owner of the early 2000’s Cavalier involved in the accident was none other than Kris Kringle himself. I could tell because he and Mrs. Claus were standing on the side of the road speaking with Pittsburgh’s finest in their Christmas Eve’s best. I wondered why Santa would be driving a Cavalier… well, not really driving it now, but you get the idea. I wanted to pull over and take a picture but thought better of the situation. After laughing it off and realizing the story was worth the delay, I was promptly brought back to the reality that we are three weeks from Christmas. This means that I’ll have to start my holiday shopping in, ohh, we’ll say two and a half weeks. I want to get an early start this year.
If you’re anything like me, you find yourself at a total loss on what to buy for people. Luckily, I’m here to help you on what to buy for the cigar loving folks on your list. In order to understand what you should buy them, we need to determine their value in your life. Your list is full of people that fall under one of these categories:
Your boss, co-workers, the dude from your car club gift exchange. These are the folks that you’re buying gifts for and you’re not quite sure why. The items on this list can also be great “stocking stuffer” type things for the other two categories.
Your not-so-serious relationship counterpart, good friends, Uncle Ron (the one that is a lot of fun, but says things that would get him turned in to HR in any office environment for sexual harassment.)
Immediate family, Husband/Wife, Fiancé, Person you’ve been dragging your feet on marrying despite having lived with them for eight years.
The cigar world is full of gift options that can range in price from ten bucks up to several hundred. This guide is going to help you buy something that doesn’t suck for whatever amount of money you want to spend.
We’ll start with the Know ‘em category and, for the sake of argument, we’ll put a price tag of $10 – $25 dollars on knowing somebody. Don’t underestimate what you can do in this price range. One of the top selling items in our shop is a cigar sampler bag. There are a lot of options out there, but they are generally four or five cigars in a sealed bag that includes its own humidification device. You can buy them now and keep them until Christmas and not have to worry about storage. Just keep them at room temperature and the bag will take care of the rest. You can’t beat the value either. We carry 6 different options at our shop with most of them coming in at $20 even. $5 a stick for some really solid cigars is a great bargain and something any cigar smoker will appreciate. You can also get a really nice mid-level cutter in that price range. The “perfect cut” style is great for around $20. They are solidly made and last forever. They take abuse and keep going and are great for anyone from a cigar smoking novice to your aficionado.
One of my most used cigar accouterments is my travel case. Most people aren’t going to need to carry more than five cigars at a time. The smaller travel cases are great for that. They are hard shell humidors that can get dropped and/or tossed and never damage your fragile cigars. They seal incredibly well and with a Boveda pack will store your smokes in great condition for months at a time. This is seriously one of my favorite items that I own. Last but not least, for the golfing smoker, there is the always useful cigar holder clip. They clip right on to a golf cart so you don’t have to put your smoke down at the tee and forget about it. Spending extra at the pro-shop on a cigar than you would at a cigar shop hurts. It hurts worse when you leave it sitting somewhere and you’ve wasted the money and the smoke. Don’t let this happen to the people you sort of care about.
On to those cigar lovers you can at least claim to like. All of these suggestions will fall in the $50 to $100 range and will be sure to impress those you bestow such a gift upon. I’ll start by revisiting one from the previous list. The travel humidors can carry more than 5 cigars if you like to bring a lot of options with you. For the guys/gals that do a lot of traveling, you might want to consider a case that can carry up to a box or more. Starting around $60, you have all the perks I already mentioned with the ability to carry way more. For someone that isn’t as worried about a beautiful wooden desktop display humidor, they work great even when you aren’t traveling as a home humidor. If you’re buying for someone who is looking for a beautiful desktop display, there are a number of great humidors out there that can carry anything from fifteen to one hundred cigars.
With all of these options to carry your cigars, you’re going to need to stock that case. If you’re willing to get towards to the top of the price range, there are several options on full boxes of cigars that will be sure to make any cigar lover smile. Joya Red by Joya De Nicaragua is a great option. A solid smoke that is made in the oldest factory in Nicaragua, these guys know what they’re doing.
Lastly, for someone that has these items already, you might want to consider a next level cutter or lighter. There are some great cutters and/or lighters made by companies like Xikar that are gorgeous and functional. The best part is that the extra money spent is rewarded with a lifetime warranty. Outside of losing it, your high-quality lighter or cutter will be replaced if anything goes wrong with it.
Now if you really love someone, you might want to go all out for them this Christmas. You have a lot of options. Everything from a handcrafted ashtray that screams class, larger humidors that are absolutely gorgeous, to sample packs of some of the rare “gems” of the industry, there are a million ways to go. If you know that your loved ones are particular fond of a particular cigar, consider stocking their humidor with a box. One great perk to hitting your local brick and mortar is the ability to mix-n-match a box. Here at our shop, we offer the same box discount on any purchase of twenty or more cigars. That’s one perk to the B&M world that you can’t get online. You can also vouch for the quality of the cigars and how they’re kept prior to spending the money on them.
If you somehow didn’t find the perfect gift solution in this blog, may I suggest reevaluating the people you hold dear. They may just be too damn picky. Otherwise, you can always go with a gift certificate to your local B&M. Something about a gift certificate for cigars shows you care way more than the canned “Here’s an amazon gift card I got because I didn’t want to put in the effort… oh and I got gas perks too.” (Allow me to apologize now to anyone that gets an Amazon gift card from me. It’s just who I am as a person… and shopping on Christmas Eve is tough.)
Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to share this (or any) post with anyone who you think might like it. We’d appreciate it a ton.
Until next time, have a great Christmas. We hope you and your family have an amazing holiday.
Cheers and long ashes!!