Lynchburg, VA - While Black Friday retail stores were packed with customers, others shoppers chose to stay outside; their purchase is often considered the most prized of the Holiday Season.
It's the Christmas tree.
If you've been out and about, you've seen line after line of early decorators that just couldn't wait until December.
Friday marked the first day many lots were open. While roadside tree lots were popular Friday, there are also those who head to the big box stores
"We keep 100 trees on the lot at a time and cut them fresh each week," said tree lot owner, Dion Brzycki.
"I've been doing it my whole life, so it's just what we do at Christmas. Part of our Christmas tradition, is to sell Christmas trees," he said.
Brzycki has sold Christmas trees for more than 40 years. He gets his lot up and running just in time for Black Friday shoppers.
"Years ago, the two most popular weekends were the second and third weekend after Thanksgiving. Now it's Thanksgiving weekend and the weekend after Thanksgiving so people are buying trees earlier and earlier," he said.
Maryanne Taylor and her husband Bart only buy their tree from Brzycki.
"Always the day after Thanksgiving, yes. Because you get the best choice," said Bart.
"We really enjoy the real freshness and scent in our home and it just permeates each room," said Maryanne.
"There's nothing like the smell of a fresh tree in the house," said Dion.
Brzycki says buying a fresh cut tree is an art.
"This is Fraser fir, it's the most popular Christmas tree around here," he said.
You've got to know what kind of tree smells a certain way, too.
"Dark green needle on top, silver blue on the bottom. Smells like balsam in the house," said Brzycki.
While millions of shoppers pack retail stores to buy Christmas gifts, some stay outdoors looking for perhaps the holiday's most cherished tradition.
"It's just one of those things that has become a part of our tradition, this is where we buy our tree. So it is, it's a special place," said Maryanne.
Brzycki makes the four hour drive to North Carolina every week until Christmas, to pick up the trees. All said and done, he says he will have sold hundreds.