The holidays are quickly approaching. Traveling miles and miles to get to grandma’s house to spend “Quality Time” with family members you only see once a year. At least the food is good right? (Except for that mysterious dish that your Aunt brings every year, trying to convince everyone to join in her latest fad diet). Here is our guide to help you, the cigar lover, survive the holidays.
1. Keep a good Cigar with you at all times.
This is an essential. You never know when a good smoking opportunity may arise. Cigar Tubes are great for this, you can keep your favorite holiday smoke on you, and not have to worry about it getting crushed in the pile of coats in the guest room. They come in plastic and metal varieties depending on your needs. Depending on how long you are stuck with the family for dinner, they have tubes for 1 or 2 cigars. Or a travel case for 3 or better yet 5 cigars, perfect for having enough to share with other cigar lovers in the family (see number 7) or if you plan on having a good long smoke for a few hours.
2. Have a Travel Humidor to keep your sticks safe.
This ties closely with number 1, especially if you are traveling for a few days or more. One cigar is not going to last a weekend, let alone a week at your Monst…. I mean Mother-In-Law’s. These keep your cigars safe, and secure. These are especially helpful to keep your overly “curious” cousin out of your stash, and keep the prying hands of TSA off your precious sticks. These travel humidors carry anywhere from 5 to 15 cigars (any more than 15 and its a little less travel friendly), and come in a wide variety of styles to suit your needs.
3. Have an escape plan.
Things always get … complex at some point in a family gathering. Like when your 16 year old niece decided to announce to the entire family that she’s pregnant last thanksgiving. Awkward. Avoid the uncomfortable silence, and ultimately the very painful rant by Grandma by having a plan of escape. Know where you can and cannot light up a smoke. This can be done when you first arrive at your destination by taking a casual stroll around the premises. If its not too cold outside (Us here in Florida know about that under 70 degree chill) see if there is an outdoor space to escape to, like a deck or porch. If grandpa likes to smoke as well and has a smoking room, go ahead and see if he’s okay with you using it, making it very clear you will only smoke you own sticks unless invited otherwise (its only polite).
4. Freshen Up.
I am sure if you are having the holiday dinners at your home your wife/girlfriend will insist on redecorating and reorganizing the whole house (Everyone knows it doesn’t look like that the rest of the year) Why not refresh your smoke room why you are at it? You’re used to the smell of your room, but guests may not feel the same way about that musty smoke smell that you do. Use an Air Freshener, specifically one for cigar smoke (not the one you stole from your lady), otherwise your room will smell like smoke and flowers (not a good Combo trust me). We recommend Re-Fresh. This will make sure your smoke room smells nice and fresh for when you and your awesome cigar loving uncle decide to sit down for a smoke. If you don’t have a smoke room, don’t fret. You can still freshen up wherever it is that you usually smoke. Clean up any ashes and make it look all shiny and new. You’re wife/girlfriend will appreciate it too and that’s always a good thing.
5. Learn the Art of Infusion.
Well meaning great-aunts and Mothers will try their best to give you gifts that relate to what you love to do – Smoke Cigars. Unfortunately that will mean being given some not so great cigars. Learning how to infuse cigars is essential. It will help make these cigars much tastier, or at least more interesting. That way when you tell your Great Aunt Linda you loved the cigar she gave you, you can feel a little less guilty knowing you only lied a little bit.
6. Stock up on Holiday Favorites.
The cigar aficionado knows his favorite cigars, for every time of year. When the holidays are near, be sure to be stocked up on your favorite Holiday Cigars, and maybe grab a few new ones to try to make the post family dinner siesta a bit more exciting. The newbie cigar lover don’t fret, you can use this time of year as an excuse to try some new cigars you’ve been craving to get your hands on (gifting to yourself is completely okay, treat yo’ self). Being close to the holiday’s means finding great deals on cigars everywhere, and that means even more cigars for you.
7. Keep a few spares.
Having a few extra cigars on you is a great idea for the holidays. Nothing says spending time with family like sharing your latest cigar favorite with your brother –in-law. It can also help break the ice with your cousins new husband (he has no idea what he married into), which can get you major brownie points. Sharing is caring and with the family related, loving environment that surrounds the holidays, it feels great to start or continue the bond of cigar smoking with those related to you.
8. Cigar related gifts.
Gift giving is always a difficult process, luckily if you have a family with some fellow cigar lovers, the gift giving becomes that much easier. You know what cigar lovers, love. Maybe, if you love them a lot, you can buy them a brand new lighter that is fancy as hell and makes them feel like a fine cigar smoking gentleman (maybe you should get a monocle too). Or you could buy them a really nice humidor that matches the décor of their smoke room. The options are unlimited. What would you like to get as a gift? Then you gift it! It’s an awesomely easy thing to do. Check that off your list.
Cigar Lovers Guide to Surviving the Holidays
by Stephanie Bolen
Hopefully this guide helps you survive another round of holidays with your family and loved ones. We’ve provided the tried and true methods that help us get through the most wonderful (stressful) time of the year. From one cigar lover to another, happy holidays! (and good luck).