It's the time of the years for cigars.
One way or another I always associate the time before christmas with my uncle and his cigars.
He had a bicycle shop, with 3 levels of bicycles and everything to enhance and repair them. Behind the public area he had a small office with a large desk and one huge wall completely filled with bookshelves.
I always thought he was a very clever man.
He was. He knew everything he needed to know in his profession and he knew everything about cigars.
His best friend was the owner of the cigarshop only 5 doors away.
When I was young cars were allowed on the road before their shops and whenever he saw the car of the sales representative of a cigar firm he needed new cigars straightaway, handed me the key of the shop and hurried away as fast as his feet could drag his weight along. He loved to hear about new cigars firsthand and I'm sure he felt like a child when he got a new edition straight from the wonderful wooden box from the representative. His eyes would twinkle and he would sit down with a sigh, turning the cigar between two fingers, sniffing it, looking at it and sniffing it again before he would ask me to cut the top and light a match.
He absolutely loved the ritual and so did I.
When I was young because he would hand me the band for my collection, when I was a bit older because I enjoyed the smell and the fact that he asked my opinion.
I guess the association with the time before christmas has grown from the time that I assisted in his shop before christmas.
It was such a wonderful time.