There are a lot of different place for hobbyists to gather, depending on what it is that you like to do. You can fly model airplanes, surf, play Dungeons & Dragons- whatever it is, there’s probably some group of people doing it somewhere. Cigar smokers have that too- our local lounge. But there’s a key difference: Hikers don’t buy each other shoes. Bicyclists don’t give each other helmets that they’ve saved for years and never worn. Golfers don’t hand each other golf balls after business meetings.
Cigar smokers are different- we share our hobby with other hobbyists. We are always trading cigar suggestions and will often give each other a cigar that we think is worth sharing, or promise that the next time we meet one of us will bring the other a gift. It’s a great tradition, a terrific way to find new favorites, and is a great demonstration of friendship.
But, not everyone in our lives is a cigar smoker. In fact, most will have never held a cigar in their lives. Some of them will be backyard barbecue cigar smokers- guys who mean well, but couldn’t tell a Macanudo from a Montecristo if you left the bands on. Then there will be just a small few die-hard cigar aficionados like you.
Professional cigar smokers, this isn’t for you.
Whoever said there is more joy in giving than receiving was probably a cigar smoker. The thing we have to recognize as serious smokers is that we’re hard to shop for, because ours is the only hobby that is an integral part of how our culture celebrates. When your friend has a baby? A cigar. When celebrating a business deal? Cigar. If you’ve just won an Olympic Hockey Gold Medal? A cigar. I have a friend who builds model trains and smokes cigars. I don’t think anyone has ever given him so much as a caboose.
So what to get for the cigar smoker in your life? The short answer is: depends on how much you like them. Even a simple gift like a cutter can range from $0.99 (Don’t get them one of these) to a Mammoth-Tusk Xikar cutter for $400. Sticking to the classic accessories such as a cutter or a lighter is usually a safe bet- if you don’t know which brands or which models are good, go to your local lounge and talk to the employee. Or better yet, talk to the guys who are hanging out and smoking- ask the guy who looks the most like he shares your friend’s style and ask him what he would like as a present from his friends.
Like any leisure activity, the world of accessories are not limited to the activity itself. There are cigar-cessories for everything- from cufflinks to ties (don’t buy your friend a tie), ashtrays, travel kits, golf tools and clothing. Most of these fall into the category of “Stocking Stuffer”, but they can be fun little gifts.
The one accessory that even non-smokers are familiar with is the humidor. More than a storage device, the humidor can be a statement of personality, as well as a work of art. If you have a lot of cigars, the most cost-effective way is to simply buy a large cooler- the type you would take to a picnic. But if you don’t regularly store over 100 cigars you’ll be fine with a desktop version. Prices vary, naturally, but a good gift can be purchases for under $200. There are different shapes, sizes, colors and styles- if you get one with glass, just make sure to keep it out of direct sunlight and your cigars should be fine.
So let’s pretend your cigar-smoking friend already has everything they need. Or, maybe you’re looking to buy a token of appreciation for a client- or even trying to butter up your boss. Let’s talk cigars!
A lot of the work is done for you- most of the major manufacturers put together gift packs that have 4 or 5 different cigars, and often they have a cutter or lighter in the box. They’re good gifts, but they lack that personal touch that makes giving gifts fun. Look to spend at least $10 per stick, and you cut out almost everything that could disappoint your cigar smoker.
There is one more cigar solution that’s perfectly designed for gifting- the aluminum tube. Lined with cedar, the tube acts as a mini humidor and protects the cigar from getting bent or broken. Commonly referred to as “Tubos”, many manufacturers make cigars in this specific packaging- ranging from inexpensive Macanudos for the occasional golfer to Ashton VSG for the serious connoisseur.
There are lots of fun cigar gifts to be had this time of year, but the best gifting guide should be your friendship. You know if your friend is into shiny, flashy things, or if they’re big into home décor. Or maybe they’re just a plain old smoker. In the end, there’s no such thing as a bad cigar-related gift for a cigar smoker. And fellow puffers- make sure to say “Thank You”, even if it’s a cigar you know you don’t like. Or a tie.