By now you are aware that it is Christmas time in the city, the burbs, and the outback. Or it’s close to hour for the heavily bearded roly-poly fellow stuffed inside a bright red suit, flying about in a sleigh overflowing with toys.
Of course, the jolly fellow’s pipe is burning brightly, and the lead reindeer’s red nose is glowing across the starlit skies. Ah, yes, Christmas.
And since Pundit is in a charitable sort of mood, here are a few of the things you might consider giving as gifts to your favorite pipe smoker.
Think of new and beautiful pipes, especially those great Peterson Christmas 2023 pipes, if you can still find them.
And, if you are in an overly generous mood, Pundit’s favorite Peterson Pipe shape is the singular B42 Darwin bent apple, released in 2009 on the sesquicentennial of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.
Just sayin’. Hint, hint.
And what would Christmas be without the wonderful creations from Cornell & Diehl and its masterful blender Jeremy Reeves’ holiday offerings?
Two Pundit favorites are Jolly Old Saint Nicholas and Golden Days of Yore. Both are just right for the season if you can find them.
My first stop would be C&D, which lists retailers who stock these fine blends.
There are, to be sure, many other great tobacco blenders in the pipe world.
I am very fond of the late Joe Lankford’s Mississippi River and Plum Pudding blends. From the first pipe full of Mississippi River, I knew I was in the hands of a genius tobacco blender.
I have never looked back and keep an order going for anything Joe Lankford created.
As Chuck Stanion said in the Sept. 8, 2022, obituary he wrote on Joe (who died Sept. 3, 2022), “but at least we have Mississippi River. We have Deception Pass and Plum Pudding and Seattle Evening to smoke while remembering Joe, who with quiet grace made all of our lives better.”
So, with a few Christmasy gift ideas, go ahead and surprise your favorite pipe smoker with Pundit’s best Christmas wish.
Christmas is always a fun time around Punditville. There are heaps of pipe tobacco and pipes. It just goes with the season of family, gifts, and Christmas carols.
And tables bursting with loads of fine food. Make that tons of fine food.
It takes Pundit several weeks to recover from the Christmas table, ahem. I’m in good company, though, right?
Pundit views this special time of year as a period of peaceful gatherings. A time of giving, which really is more fun than receiving.
What could be more, er, serene than a scene of Grandpa in his favorite chair, smoking his favorite pipe and tobacco blend while the kids and grandkids run around joyfully squealing about presents beneath the Christmas tree?
And how about that tree smell as it merges with the beloved pipe blend of the day?
Just kidding about the kids. It’s a time of the year when they have the run of the place to rip away colorful ribbons and wrapping paper and yelp with delight.
Not to mention the sweetly smiling and joyful faces at the Christmas dinner table. This Norman Rockwell-like scene brings back those good memories of Christmases past.
A Charles Dickens quote is apropos here, methinks: Remembrance, like a candle, burns brightest at Christmastime.
I know Pundit is a bit mushy here, but it is important to recall those good moments and family get-togethers. They go by very quickly.
Yes, it’s a dose of nostalgia, but that’s all in order this time of the year. Like a classic Norman Rockwell painting of the family around a table overflowing with food and cheery faces. Hard to do better than that picture.
Unless of course, it’s a Rockwell painting of the jolly old Saint Nicholas himself.
And to my fellow pipe smokers, keep in mind that giving is the true joy of the season. Receiving is exciting, of course, but to see an old friend’s face brighten at the sight of a new pipe is unforgettable.
Here’s hoping all out there in Pipes and Tobacco world can find joy and peace in the beautiful song by the late Bing Crosby, legendary pipe smoker, and his “Dreaming of a White Christmas.”
Just as the old crooner’s pipe, a long-shanked, long-stemmed billiard, symbolizes the famous singer and actor, so does the fabled pipe bring home memories of wonderful Christmases past.
And a final quote from the author who gave us a legendary Christmas story, The Ghost of Christmas Past, a character in the Dickens novella, A Christmas Carol.
“Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!”
Happy holidays, and here’s hoping everyone has a safe, merry, and happy smoking Christmas with family and friends.