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An event Navy Exchange customers don't want to miss is soon approaching as the NEX here celebrates its first ever "Customer Appreciation Day" Friday.

Navy Exchanges around the world celebrate customer appreciation day in support of military members and families. Pax River's NEX is holding the annual event so its customers can reap extra savings and benefits just in time for the holidays.

"We are excited that we're able to support NAS Pax families with these extra savings and benefits during the holiday season," said Cathie Reihl, general manager for the Pax River NEX. "It's important that we get our message out there that we are committed in taking care of our Sailors, retirees and their families."

Reihl said this one-day event brings even better deals than their best known "everyday values" with extra savings on TVs and tablets, to name a few.

"'You Serve, You Save,' is something that is very important to us, in promoting the benefit of the Navy Exchange," Reihl said. "We are even offering extra unadvertised discounts on a broad range of items."

"We have much for which to be thankful and the Christmas season is when many of us take time to express our gratitude. We're pleased that the Navy Exchange continues to show its committed partnership in support of our Sailors at Pax," said Capt. Ben Shevchuk, NAS Patuxent River executive officer. "As we spend time with family and friends and enjoy a spirit of giving, we can take more satisfaction in some extra savings available on Customer Appreciation Day."

Customer appreciation day is 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday with giveaways, food and refreshments. Some of the highlighted giveaway items include electronics, jewelry and fragrances.

"Whether you're naughty or nice, kids and families are invited to get their family holiday pictures with Santa too," Reihl said.

Santa is scheduled to arrive at 3 p.m. on a Pax River fire engine. He and his team are handing out goody bags to kids who visit and share their Christmas wish list until 6 p.m., or until supplies run out.

Pax River Navy Exchange holiday hours are: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Sunday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Dec. 23; 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Dec 24; closed Dec. 25; normal operating resume Dec. 26.

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Connie Hempel, NAS Patuxent River Public Affairs, contributed to this article.