I attended a gathering at the Cigar Inn, the home of Cigar Aficionado’s lounge. Billy, Gus and Bass Fakih hosted a group of cigarmakers including Eddie Ortega of 601, Nestor Miranda and Rene Casteneda of Miami Cigar & Co. and Pepin, Janny and Jaime Garcia of My Father Cigars. By the time I got there at 1 p.m., the cigar shop was crowded with guys smoking up a storm, enjoying an open bar including Presidente beers and working their way through a buffet table of great food.
The all-day event attracted hundreds of people, and it was tough to get Billy or Gus out from the behind the counter to ask about their business because they were so busy behind the counter. They admit that business could be better on some days, but for the most part, they have done OK this year. We know that to say your business is OK is the new up.
However, I had a brainstorm. It’s time for all you cigar lovers out there to let your significant others, friends, acquaintances, colleagues trying to curry favor with you… whatever, that what you really want for Christmas is not a partridge in pear tree, but some of your favorite cigars. Don’t be specific. Cigars. Just cigars.
Tell your family that a couple of sticks will take the place just fine of a new book, or a scarf or a pair of socks. Any kind of cigar instead of a new tie. If you really want to get creative, tell them the 12 Days of Christmas story, you know the one with different gifts for each of the 12 days, with the number of items growing each day until it reaches 12…if you get lucky, you’ll end up with 78 cigars. Not bad.
Even if you’re not quite that audacious, just letting your friends and family know that you’ll take cigars for holiday presents will not only be good for you, but good for your local retailers and ultimately, good for the cigar industry. And, we all like to do good with our requests for presents, don’t we?So, have Happy Holidays. And, if you get a chance, head off to any event your local retailer is having, like the one at Cigar Inn last weekend. It’s a great place to have some camaraderie with your fellow lovers of the leaf…and enjoy a cigar at the same time.