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Cigars: A Creative Wedding Gift

Jul 9, 2008
We hand out cigars during bachelor parties, of course - in fact, it may be hard to imagine the tradition without one. Ditto bachelorette parties, with their air of carnivale and tit-for-tat debauchery. As for the birth of newborns, the practice of lighting up a stogy to celebrate a new arrival has been firmly entrenched by the centuries.

But cigars as a wedding gift? Sure!

After all, the consumption of tobacco has deep roots in history as a way of celebrating rites-of-passage. We've already mentioned the cigars that new fathers (and, these days, mothers) pass out among friends, and the role cigars have in honoring the about-to-be-married. Digging deeper, consider the potlatch.

Ancient Native Americans living near the Pacific Northwest Coast once observed this ceremony, in which significant life events were observed via the exchanging of gifts and sharing of wealth. Among other things, tobacco was often exchanged in these ceremonies - which are still kept by Native peoples in increasing numbers.

But besides that, there's practicality to consider. Think about it: you're the two- or three-hundredth guest to RSVP; the bride and groom's closest friends, relatives, and hangers-on have already bought the coffeemakers, dining room sets, wall hangings, silverware, cookware, outerwear, underwear, and minor kitchen appliances that it's occurred to you to buy as a wedding gift. Your wedding gift idea bank is overdrawn. You need a creative gift idea.

This problem is especially pressing today, as more and more Americans wait until slightly later in life to get married. When two thirty-somethings tie the knot, there's often at least a household-and-a-half, even two households, to combine. Many prospective wedding-gift buyers start out with a bride and groom who, for all practical purposes, already have two of everything.

There's just one thing they're likely to be low on: calm. The ramp-up to a wedding is, for many, long, grueling and tiresome, full of little disasters (the caterer who quits; the previously-simmering family feud brought to a boil by some trifling disagreement) that test the patience and commitment of even a deeply loving couple.

The big day itself is, often enough, not unchallenging, what with last-minute mishaps, and the sudden way that the seriousness of the commitment itself sometimes sinks in. The great American filmmaker Robert Altman perhaps said it best when, in discussing his own black comedy A Wedding (1979), he remarked that he'd never been to a wedding that wasn't, at least in part, a disaster.

So what you need, as a well-intentioned wedding guest looking for the right wedding gift, is something to help the bride and groom stop and savor the moment - a slightly formal luxury, fitting the moment. A box of premium cigars fits the bill exactly. In fact, with the increase in the popularity of cigars over the past fifteen years, cigar smoking has become an equal-opportunity luxury; women are more often found, today, among the new smokers of cigars than at any time in history.

At least half a million American women smoke cigars, according to a 2002 estimate by the Cigar Association of America. That number makes sense in a country where - according to demographic research by Cigar Babes, a nonprofit organization for women cigar smokers - women make 85% of buying decisions, start 70% of new businesses, and buy 50% of the products classified traditionally as "male."

Cigars, then, should be a staple wedding gift, and they're always safe. (If one of the other party guests also buys cigars, it's OK - the bride and groom can smoke yours after the other box is gone!) For those of you new to the world of cigars, here are some basics:

1) Choose good cigars. (A wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event!) Buy well-made, hand-rolled, long-filler cigars from a quality cigar outlet or online store. The better the cigar, the better the taste, and the more permanent the memories.

2) Speaking of taste: the outer wrapper (which gives the cigar its outer color) generally tells you how the cigar tastes. Darker outer wrappers mean sweeter taste; tan- or lighter-colored cigars are drier.

3) How to smoke: Cut off the cap of the cigar, then, using a wooden match or a butane lighter or other full flame (not a paper match), turn the end of the cigar in the flame a full 360 degrees until every part of it is lit. Don't inhale - this isn't a cigarette! Pull the smoke into your mouth and taste it thoroughly without allowing it into your lungs. Remember, it's about the taste.
About the Author
CigarFox provides you the opportunity to build your own sampler of the finest cigars that include cigar brands like Montecristo, Romeo & Julieta, H Upmann, Macanudo, Cohiba, Partagas, Gurkha and many more. Choose from more than 1200 different cigars! Other cigar products include cigar humidors, cigar boxes, and cigar accessories like Zippo Lighters.
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