WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — Black Friday is not only the beginning of many’s holiday shopping, for some, it’s a tradition to share with loved ones.

The 2021 Black Friday morning was cold and wet, but it didn’t stop dedicated shoppers from lining up before 5 a.m. at the Kohl in West Springfield.

“It wouldn’t be Christmas without Black Friday,” Tracey Malley from Holyoke said.

Malley was first in line outside of Kohl’s and for a while the only one in line. Despite the wet weather, she couldn’t miss out on her favorite holiday shopping tradition.

“I’m starting the Christmas season, this is a tradition I’ve done for the last 15 years,” Malley said.

Tracey wasn’t alone in the line for too long. Many people, armed with their winter coats and credit cards, were eager to get inside and get those deals on holiday gifts. According to retail experts, Americans plan on spending nearly $859 billion on gifts, and online shopping is expected to also increase by 10% this holiday season.

And it may have been early, but once doors had finally opened, many more people, even families were going in and out of the store, with their shopping carts stuffed with purchases. Ashley Richards bonded with her mother with some Black Friday shopping.

“It’s just the start of the season even though I have most of my Christmas shopping done it’s nice to be out and about and spending quality time together and it’s tradition,” Richards said.

And while department stores are good spots to get those Black Friday deals, don’t forget about Small Business Saturday. Retail experts say that it is more important than ever to shop small, so make sure to support your local small businesses.