Duke - Worried about your friend, Joe, that he actually knows about this attempt to manufacture a tradition. The pig was made by some candy store in a (even then) touristy town of Saratoga, New York in the late 1800's. People went there to "take" the waters - (disgusting stuff that is laxative). Now they go more for the famous horse race track and expensive everything. The pig faded but recently has been brought back and marketed aggressively, if Joe is any indication. It has become something to give someone when you don't have any idea what to give. Smashing piggy sweets with a tiny hammer.
Joe's a metaphorical friend, made up for the sake of argument, but hey.
I'm not at all surprised. I didn't quite think that those companies in those damn catalogues were smart enough to make up their very own "tradition", but I figure they've got just enough brains to pick up some defunct old thing and re-market it as some wonderful little custom. I've never heard of it, nor has anyone I know, but then again, I don't get any catalogues.
"In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards."
He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
"If it turns out that there is a God, I don't think that he's evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he's an underachiever."