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Shipbuilders Show their Holiday Spirit

Published December 8, 2020

Unable to celebrate the holidays in traditional fashion, Newport News shipbuilders have focused their innovative spirit on finding workarounds to the restrictions imposed by COVID-19.

NNS has prohibited in-person gatherings that normally mark the holiday season, retirements and other milestones due to the danger posed by shared food and the need to maintain social distance.

Faced with this new challenge in an already difficult year, shipbuilders were invited to submit alternative ways to celebrate. The Crisis Action Group (CAG) looked at more than 25 ideas from employees and chose several to highlight for consideration in the days ahead.

Whether it is meeting for a virtual holiday lunch, recognizing honorees or holding group activities, Zoom can bring people together, at least virtually. Ted Lemon (O52), Patricia Rios (X57) and Brooke Slade (X44) contributed ideas. Keep in mind that Zoom meetings are not allowed on NNS property for security reasons.

Drive-Thru Recognition
Organizing a drive-thru holiday party could allow employees to pick up a pizza, box of donuts or other items. Employees being honored could get a drive-by salute from their fellow shipbuilders, complete with honking horns. Employees submitting ideas in this category included J.B. Perrine (N358) and Kimberly Artis (X44). Shipbuilders organizing such an event are asked to steer clear of NNS property.

The Virtual Tree, Santa, Stocking, etc.
A virtual tree or trees can allow employees in a department to post digital ornaments to recognize the service of others. Having a “virtual stocking” with the option to choose a particular gift card is another possibility. Thanks to Preston Lane (E56) and J.B. Perrine (N358) for these suggested alternatives.

Secret Santa or Snowman
A time-tested idea can have a virtual twist: Groups can draw names and send special treats through the mail for those who want to participate and share their home address. Thanks to Diane Schultz (O34) for that thought.