For many of us, this time of year is all about change. Unless you happen to live in sunny San Diego, California, where the weather man has the easiest job in the world ("On this day it shall be sunny, as it was yesterday and as it will be tomorrow!"), weather is going to jump up and down, be wet and cold, and have us searching for storms, school closings, and our packed-away winter gear. [Editor's note: It is raining in San Diego today, Adam.] This time of year is more about packing and unpacking seasonal things, be they in a box or tobacco chamber.
Just last week, my wife and I were putting up our Christmas tree and she wanted me to keep the large, multicolored ceramic lights, ones I've known since I was a little frightened boy refusing to sit on Santa's lap, hidden away. Being the, hopefully, good husband that I aspire to be, I pretty much closed my eyes, and my mouth, and nodded in agreement when she wanted teeny-tiny white lights on the tree and completely new ornaments with a gold and red theme. The kid in me comes out at Christmas, a time where I try to recreate my childhood memories in visual detail. Admittedly, I lacked enthusiasm when the antique ornaments were gazing sadly up at me from their retro plastic boxes as fresh, new sparkly decorations made their debut on the sprawling, freshly-slaughtered Fraser Fir in our living room. But I have to admit it, folks; the end result of my wife's efforts is a really beautiful sight to behold, so I'm surprisingly happy with the change.
Not only does the scent of pine now in my living room tickle the nose at home, but at work the wafting of rich Latakia tobaccos coming from Eric and Ted as the weather cools has started to whet my whistle for a favored English blend - Fred Hanna's Wilderness. Just this morning Ted cracked open one of his tins (while noting how much he prefers English blends this time of year) and offered me some. The fragrant notes of this blend seem to come alive when the temperature drops in nature, so what better time to pop a tin?
Tonight you can stay cozy in your home and browse the new wares of fresh briars. Paolo Becker, Former, Ashton, Randy Wiley, Winslow, and Claudio Cavicchi should keep you on your toes. There are plenty of Savinelli, Peterson, Nording, and Brigham pipes too; and don't forget about the eighty-four estates! And, as the holiday season crescendos to its peak, if you're wondering just how much time you have left to shop for that perfect gift (even if said gift be for thyne self), check our Holiday Shipping Schedule, where you'll find approximate deadlines, by shipping service, to have your package delivered before December twenty-fifth.
Adam Davidson: Quality Control & Pipe Inspector