Holiday Gift Thoughts

Before we know it, we’ll be caught up in the flurry of activity that is the holiday shopping season. Some of us have already made our lists and possibly even begun shopping. Others, like me, will probably be scrambling on Christmas Eve to get those last few items. When I was a kid, lots of people smoked pipes, and it was very common to buy pipes or tobaccos as gifts. I know that many of those gifts went unused because they weren’t “right” for the recipient. So let me give you some ideas about selecting presents for the pipe or cigar enthusiast in your life.

First off, when it comes to pipes, unless you’re very familiar with the brand, shape, stem type and finish preferences of the smoker, pipes can be hit or miss. A little detail that a non-smoker might miss, like saddle vs. tapered stem, could mean that the pipe will see little use. With, you can feel a little safer because we will do an exchange or credit as long as the pipe hasn’t been smoked, but you just may want to avoid the hassle. Pipe tobacco is even more problematic because people buying pipe blends as gifts tend to buy what they think will smell nice, but it could be completely wrong for the person receiving the gift. A sampler might be a good thought, especially if you know that the pipester smokes a variety of tobaccos.

Cigars are even a bit more difficult, because tastes are such a personal thing. If you know their brand, then, by all means, buy some cigars, but if you don’t, you could easily miss the mark.

What this leads me to is that I would suggest going with accessories for pipe and cigar fanciers. Pipe and/or tobacco pouches, pipe bags, soft-flame pipe lighters, pipe tools, pipe racks and even a supply of pipe cleaners (they make a great stocking stuffer) will be appreciated. Even if they already own one of these items, they’ll still find a use for them. For the cigar lover, torch-flame lighters, cigar cases, travel or desktop humidors, cutters and ashtrays are great gifts, and if your favorite cigar smoker also plays golf, there are clips for holding the cigar securely to the golf bag or cart while the golfer takes a swing.

But my suggestion, to be completely safe, is a gift card. We’ll send the card directly to the recipient with a note from you, so you don’t even have to wrap anything, and if you’ve forgotten someone or are scrambling at the last minute, we can even help you with that. We can send a virtual gift card to the email of the person you choose, so you can even get one a day or two before the holiday and still be on time.

About Russ

Russ Ouellette is the blender/creator of the Hearth & Home series of tobaccos for in Bethlehem, PA. He has been a pipe smoker and blender for over 30 years, and enjoys feedback from the pipe smoking public. You can reach Russ at or by calling 1-800-494-9144.