Much like Thanksgiving itself, many people make it a tradition to go out and shop the next morning on Black Friday. I also have my own Black Friday tradition, but for me it isn’t about shopping.

For the past several years, I have gone out early each year to cover Black Friday for the Herald Democrat. From the sales and deals to the people who venture out to shop, I’ve always enjoyed covering the shopping holiday for a variety of reasons.

I believe the first time I covered Black Friday was 2014, when my editor at the time was asking for a volunteer to cover it. While there was a dead silence across the room, and the obvious dread of who would be chosen, I ultimately volunteered much to the confusion of everyone.

I am not one to get into the thrill of shopping. In fact, the shopping aspect means very little to me. Instead, I see it as an opportunity to indulge in a hobby of mine — people watching.

There are several types of people who go out on Black Friday and after a while you begin to be able to identify them at first glance. From the avid shoppers to those just tagging along and the ones who are mostly shopping for themselves to those who don’t even know why they are out so early.

Each one brings a different take to the holiday.