"While the most coveted trophies may change from year to year, the ritual does not. During the past century, America has transformed itself into a shopping nation."
Today is the day people in the retail industry refer to as BLACK FRIDAY - the day Americans as a group get out of the house and go shopping - and bringing profits back into the 'black'.
This is the ritual that, while it might have grown into more of a myth, indentifies the nation and let Americans create an identity that they feel comfortable with.
"Low prices reflect democracy. Brand names represent our search for a better life. And designer boutiques embody the promise of an ever-improving self. Yet Americans have made a Faustian deal with the culture of shopping, and especially with bargain culture. The retail prices may be low, but the social costs are high."
NYTimes Op-Ed: We Are Where We Shop