In these days when too many people have chosen political correctness over sanity, modern portrayals of Santa no longer include the pipe. As far as I am concerned, Santa isn't Santa without a pipe. A friend of mine has just emailed me this picture of Santa which he knew I would like. This one is by Tim Hildebrandt. The pipe pictured is of European origin, and is usually referred to as a "Tyrolean." A real pipe with such an appearance would probably have a bowl of porcelain, although I suppose it could be meerschaum. Mr. Hildebrandt even pictured Santa holding the pipe correctly. Although a porcelain bowl would be quite hot, probably too hot to hold, the bottom of the pipe which is actually touching his fingers is actually an air reservoir which does not contain any tobacco and is therefore only comfortably warm to the touch.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath...
I have a couple of more politically incorrect Christmas postings up my sleeve, and at least one will involve another Santa with pipe. Never fear, there is also at least one about a gun.