Leadership of Marshall Space Flight Center gathered Dec. 1 for the annual lighting of the holiday tree and recorded the event so the workforce could join in the celebration virtually.

This year, there were several notable changes from past tree lightings, including a solid blue lighting color and new location – just north of building 4260. The traditional location was unavailable this year due to construction around building 4200.

“This is one of my most favorite times of the year,” Marshall Director Jody Singer said. “We just wanted to do this tradition because we want to celebrate all the hard work, and how much we appreciate how much you’ve been doing this year.”

Singer was joined by Marshall Deputy Director Rick Burt, Associate Director Steve Miley, and Associate Director, Technical, Larry Leopard. Also making an appearance was Special Limited Envoy for International Goodies Handling (SLEIGH) specialist Santa Claus, who joined the group for the countdown to the tree lighting and asked them to tell him their holiday wishes.

“It’s the season to celebrate our loved ones – family and friends – and of course our Marshall family,” Burt said. “2021 has been a challenging year, and we are so grateful from the bottom of our hearts to each one of you.”

“We are reaching a lot of milestones,” said events coordinator Linda Southworth, who helped plan and oversee the event. “We are about to launch NASA’s Space Launch System and IXPE, and there are numerous accomplishments happening at other centers. We are coming together as one NASA, and it just seemed fitting to do a NASA-blue tree.”

The other new addition is the tree-topper designed and constructed by Aaron Stanfield, a Marshall exhibits technician and model-maker. The topper, manufactured on-site at the Marshall Model Shop, is a 3D NASA logo backed by a 10-pointed star, with each point representing a NASA center. It sits atop a 32-foot-tall artificial tree.

The tree will remain on display until after the new year and can be viewed from Rideout Road.

Editor’s note: Tee Quillin, a Media Fusion employee, Supports Marshall’s Office of Strategic Analysis & Communications.

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