Fortunately for them, local organization PortSide NY has an annual event called Operation Christmas Cheer in which they deliver cookies and newspapers to the workers of this necessary industry.
Here's a description of the event (before-hand) from PortSide:
We show up in a small powerboat wearing silly Christmas hats, make a ruckus, and hand over a plate of cookies and newspapers (papers are hard to get when you work on the water). Tugs and barges work 24/7 and often work long hitches (two weeks on, two weeks off is typical). They frequently work national holidays and keenly miss their families on those days. They also feel the burden of working in obscurity, bringing you the stuff you use. The simple gesture of being remembered on Christmas means a lot to them. Just $600 covers the cost of a paper plate of Christmas cookies and a bundle of newspapers (New York Times, Daily News, and The Post) for 40 tugs and barges, plus boat fuel and sandwiches for the elves.
We weren't on the scene today, but the Tugster blog was and posted the following photos:
All pictures taken by Will Van Dorp. More available on the Tugster blog here.
Update: More pictures posted to Tugster here.
Happy Holidays everyone!