Every New Year’s since I was 6, my stepmom has given me a plastic pig.

Since the tender age of six, my New Year’s tradition involved unwrapping a peculiar gift from my stepmom – a plastic pig. Yes, a pig, without fail, every single year. In an effort to preserve her feelings due to her mental health issues, I always feigned surprise, accepting the quirky presents with a gracious smile.

However, this year marked a turning point when my sister, unable to endure the annual charade any longer, confronted me. “Are you seriously still clueless?” she questioned incredulously. Perplexed, I inquired, “Clueless about what?” Her response unveiled the truth as she urged me to check the underside of the plastic pig.

To my astonishment, a tiny note awaited discovery, bearing a simple message – “Just because it’s funny!” Year after year, my stepmom had been indulging in a lighthearted prank, finding immense humor in the repetition of an odd and seemingly meaningless gift. There were no hidden meanings, no secret treasures, just the whimsical essence of an inside joke that had eluded my understanding for so long.

In this revelation, a new layer of appreciation emerged for the unique and endearing sense of humor that my stepmom possessed, making this peculiar tradition a charming and unforgettable chapter in our family’s New Year celebrations.

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