We have a long-standing Thanksgiving tradition in our family: press the mute button whenever a Christmas-themed commercial comes on the TV or radio.

We're not anti-Christmas - no, far from it. We're just tired of heartless advertisers pushing their annoying holiday jingles and sales pitches on us weeks before Thanksgiving.

You remember Thanksgiving, don't you? The holiday scheduled between Halloween and Christmas? The one where you stuff yourself silly and watch the SpongeBob SquarePants marathon?

American advertisers don't remember Thanksgiving, which explains why all those Christmas TV commercials start appearing as early as Nov. 1. The commercials scream, andquot;Only 55 more shopping days before Christmas!andquot; To which I respond, andquot;There are only 23 more days to buy that Thanksgiving turkey!andquot;

Okay. Perhaps, as most guys, I'm thinking too much with my stomach. Thanksgiving is all about the food - the turkey, the stuffing, the cranberries, the mashed potatoes, the gravy, the pie ? sorry, I had to stop typing to wipe the drool from my chin.

I know what some of you are thinking. andquot;Scott, isn't the true meaning of Thanksgiving about being thankful for what we have?andquot; To which I say, andquot;Yes! Thankful that we get the whole day off to eat all the food we want, and that the writers of SpongeBob have such wild imaginations.andquot;

But seriously, Thanksgiving is a holiday steeped in tradition. It all began a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, when a bunch of hippy pilgrims decided to stick it to andquot;The Manandquot; in England and set sail on a giant furniture moving truck called the Mayflower.

It took the pilgrims years to reach the New World (those Mayflower trucks were hard to steer in open seas). When they arrived, they checked into the Plymouth Rock Motel 6 and promptly discovered the TV remotes were broken and they couldn't mute those darned Christmas commercials.

The pilgrims offered the TVs as a peace offering to the native people, but they were not fans of SpongeBob or Christmas jingles.

Still, the locals took pity on the ragtag group of seasick hippies, lavishing them with gifts such as T-shirts that read, andquot;My hippie parents went to Plymouth Rock and all I got was this lousy T-shirt!andquot; and bumper stickers that read andquot;Thanks for visiting the New World, now go home.andquot;

In return, the hippie pilgrims did what they do best: party!

Ever since, days of Thanksgiving were celebrated throughout the colonies after fall harvests. But Thanksgiving didn't become a national holiday until 1789, when it was declared so by U.S. President George Washington, who wanted a day off from running the country to stuff his face with turkey and watch SpongeBob.

I bet the mute on the presidential TV remote worked, too.