The niece and I were watching TV, and we saw two commercials with a Christmas theme. The first was Macy’s with a generic holiday ad that was obviously a Christmas commercial that was too embarrassed to actually say “Christmas.” The second was an IHOP commercial with two nutcrackers asking each other what they were going to wear for Halloween. Later I saw another IHOP commercial with nutcrackers saying how embarrassing and wrong it is to have Christmas commercials before Thanksgiving. So how much more embarrassing is it to do Christmas before November?

So I’m going to write these two companies and express that I will not spend any money in either establishment before Jan. 1st, 2010, and they are both going onto my Holiday List Of Shame:

Holiday List Of Shame

Since this is Thanksgiving week, I will only post this one short Captain’s Comment.

Thanksgiving Day — the day we sit down and gorge like pigs on turkey, stuffing, potatoes, veggies, rolls and pie. This is the day America unbuttons its collective pants and sits around watching football, while complaining about how we overate again after we promised ourselves last year we would not do it. But hidden in this day of gluttony is the idea of actually giving thanks for what we have.

I am first and foremost thankful for my family. I have two wonderful parents who raised me well and taught me many invaluable principles that have served me well in life. The more I model my life around their teachings and the gospel of Christ, the better my life becomes. I am thankful for two brothers whom I love but do not see often enough. I am thankful for a loving wife. As my father says, we three boys all married above us, and I can see how this is true in my wife. I am thankful for her family. Her mother has welcomed me into her family with open arms. I am so glad that we do not have a stilted in-law relationship. I call her “Mom,” and I love her.

I am thankful for this country. The United States is not perfect, but it is by far the best country in the world. I have spent about a third of my life living outside the U.S., and while I have loved living in many countries, I remain an American. As de Tocqueville said, “America is great because it is good. When it ceases being good, it will no longer be great.” I am thankful for a President who understands that we first need to be good to be a nation that is great. I am thankful that we are free, and I am thankful for the brave men and women who bear arms to keep this nation free.

As you sit down at your table and get ready to feast, spend a few minutes and thank God for your many blessings.

And now for a rant. I love the holidays. I love the food and the family get-togethers that come with them. But I really dislike the way people try to rush holidays. Specifically, I am talking about Christmas. One of my pet peeves is the way some stores and cities will put out Christmas decorations waaaaaaay before December. I believe this year’s winner of the dubious honor of being first was Rite Aid. I noticed two aisles of Christmas decorations were in place near the end of August. Yes, I understand that Christmas is a prime money-maker for stores and businesses, but this is not helped in any way by putting out the Christmas stuff early in the year. I have made a personal decision not to patronize a store that pushes Christmas items too early.

It’s very simple. Halloween decorations should not appear before the first of October. Thanksgiving themes apply to the month of November. Christmas and all its associated trappings should not start appearing in stores or on TV until the Friday after Thanksgiving at the earliest. Learn to savor each holiday as it comes, but please do not rush headlong into the next holiday before the first has passed.

OK, I feel better now. Time to get things ready for Thanksgiving.