This Christmas Thing of Ours
12/17/14 by Andrew Wike
Friday was an eventful day for us here at SPC. During work hours we hurried and frantically released Tsuge's new Four Seasons line of tobaccos, which unsurprisingly did very well over the weekend. The real fun happened after work though, as we all came together for our annual Christmas party. There was food, drink, and all manner of aged tobaccos. From long discontinued blends to 15-year-old Escudo and Orlik Golden Sliced, nary a pipe went unfilled.
In fact, I even observed some relative newcomers enjoying the ins and outs of our hobby. Cyndy, for example, puffed from an elegant Prince filled with Molto Dolce; Pete, when he wasn't playing guitar and singing for us, carried a handsome little Zulu that he'd dug up over to a guest who wanted to give pipes a try. Even our loved ones joined in to celebrate, each smoking from their own respected briars. There was something transcendent about the whole thing, a sort of contagious happiness that you could see diffusing through the room. Warm smiles, genuine laughter, heartfelt conversations — all brought out by a singular shared passion: our passion for pipes.
You see, we spend so much time merchandising, marketing, and shipping pipes that we often take for granted how enjoyable our hobby can really be. Pipe smoking can be something of a solitary pastime, and not all of us smoke much at work, instead reserving our briars for quiet moments of reflection at home. But for the first time since I started here at SPC back in June, I had the chance to witness nearly everyone in the company, even those I don't often get to interact with, together in one place, smoking a pipe. In that moment, the real enjoyment of this thing of ours became clear. It transcended the solitary and became something far more communal: a fraternity of sorts spanning across genders, race, creed, and code. How many can say the same about their hobbies? Many, I should hope, because it's a great thing to see. I certainly have yet to find anything quite like it.