For the last several years, the United States Naval Academy has hosted a special Holiday Market event, located in Dahlgren Hall, at this time of year. A spirited and festive occasion, the Holiday Market event allowed Midshipmen to get some gift shopping done for the holiday season, and gave vendors a chance to market to the Brigade. This event will sadly be skipped this year due to safety precautions related to COVID-19.
However, the spirit of the holidays is still in the air, and Midshipmen can look forward to a special, holiday gift wrapping festivity at the Yard this year. To help the busy Midshipmen get their gifts wrapped and ready for the upcoming holidays, NABSD employees will be in the Midshipmen Store this year, in order to help with the gift wrapping and connect with the Midshipmen.
The free gift wrapping begins on December 1st, and will go until December 13th. The tradition of wrapping gifts for the Midshipmen has been going on as long as the Holiday Market, which began in 2014. And sorry folks who have trouble with wrapping gifts, this is for the Midshipmen only!
So who’s helping with the wrapping? All of the wrappers are NABSD employees, such as the Tour Guides for the Yard. Having sadly been off duty since March because of the COVID-19 restrictions, many were thrilled to hear about this event and the chance to participate in holiday activities connected to USNA.
Hearing about this opportunity to support the Midshipmen was something that many employees just couldn’t resist, and with the year that many people have faced, a little holiday cheer couldn't have been more welcomed.
USNA Tour Guide Gay O’Hara was extremely excited to hear about this, saying "I love talking with the Midshipmen about their Christmas plans, and they are so appreciative that we provide this service. Where else would a Midshipman get free wrapping paper?" The sense of community and connection between the staff and Midshipmen at the USNA is extremely strong, and this holiday season is further proof of that. “Wrapping gifts for our Midshipmen is one of my favorite events of the Christmas season,” said Stacy Morrow, an Information Specialist at the Visitor Center. “I sign up every year. I'm so glad we provide this service. It's a great opportunity to wish them well before our future Navy and USMC leaders depart for their well-deserved time off, to enjoy the holidays with their family."
The United States Naval Academy is a community of caring individuals who find ways to support the Midshipmen at every opportunity. With the challenges faced by the whole world this year, even the most wonderful time of the year can be extremely difficult, and this show of support makes a world of difference. To show your support for the Brigade of Midshipmen, make a purchase from Navyonline. 100% of proceeds from your purchase go back to supporting the Brigade of Midshipmen.