18. The "traditional" Thanksgiving is supposed to begin with a welcome of the God of Consumption.
Santa Claus. He's coming to town ... on Thanksgiving morning! We're a nation that fails to distinguish between two deities upon whom we layer our wishes and appetites. Immediately after His arrival, the children are rushed inside the Temple of Retail to sit on the pervert's lap and engage in prayer (much like the Catholic Church today).
The next ritual is attendance at a combat between two groups of gladiators, competing to see which can injure and maim more of the others. This attendance frequently became participation as supporters of the conflicting groups engage in their own combat. (Alex Karrras and DIck Butkis competed on the tally of those players they each caused to be carried off the field.)
The climax of the Thanksgiving ritual was an orgy of self-indulgence, engorging ourselves on enough food to feed a third world nation for a month, and throwing away enough to feed them for a week. Members of the family would have belching and farting competitions and present obscenely distended bellies like sweaty Buddhas.
Finally, the Day of Indulgence would culminate with a trek to the local movie house to witness the season's latest celluloid circus for the masses.
Yeah ... let's lament the intrusion of "Black Friday" into our treasured reminiscences of a Norman Rockwell image that we never actually lived in reality.