Oxford Valley Mall opened at 6 a.m. this morning Thanksgiving for Black Friday shoppers who wanted to have first choice for deals on electronics, clothes, and other holiday presents.

The local mall is the staple shopping center of Middletown and has popular outlets, dining options, and even Santa Claus for kids who want to meet the jolly man from the North Pole. Black Friday is typically a lucrative day for the Oxford Valley Malls around the country and this year is no different.

Consumer Protection Advocate Mike Bannon wants people to experience the joy of giving, but also cautions them not to give too much.

“This is the time of year where people go out and purchase on credit cards,” Bannon said. “Of course you need to be very cautious that you don’t purchase more than you can afford to pay back.”

Paying with a credit card can be risky for large purchases if people aren’t thinking about what they can really afford alongside bills and taxes. Using physical money ensures a consumer doesn’t over pay and go into debt.

“However, there are some protections that come with a credit card purchase for returning defective items that always come into play, so know your credit card protections if you’re going to be using it during Christmas time,” Bannon explained. “I prefer people use cash, but you do have some protections with your credit card.”

Shops close and deals end at 10 p.m., so there’s still time to think out purchases and plan for the long term.