Christmas is a special time of year for family and friends to gather together to extend good will and joy to all. Living in Antarctica has the bonus of providing you with an instant extended family to soften the blow of being far away from loved ones back home. Christmas preparations at Mawson commenced with enthusiastic decoration of the Christmas tree and the Living Quarters with tinsel and lights and carols could be heard wafting over slushy FM radio airwaves.
Official celebrations kicked off with a Christmas Eve BBQ at the Workshop to set the holiday tone. Christmas Day feasting began with a scrumptious champagne brunch with all manner of tempting treats that threatened to leave too little room for the Christmas dinner to come (the fresh smoked salmon, cream cheese and caper bagels were to die for).
Following brunch, and despite the exceedingly long distances, Santa and his little helper made a special effort to visit Mawson and judge who had been naughty or nice (casual observation seemed to indicate that everyone had been well behaved — no coal distributed). An unexpected delight was Stay Here emerging from a rather large gift wrapped box to join the Mawson crew again after a mysterious absence since the end of winter dinner.
Next on the Christmas to do list for many on station were the phone calls back home and places far and wide to share the Christmas spirit and connect with family and friends. Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, things were just hotting up. Super Chef Kim was busy preparing a Christmas banquet of seafood, roasts with all the trimmings and a dessert table that will ensure that the next monthly medical weigh in will certainly be in Chef’s favour!
Like every year, in the blink of an eye, Christmas was over and New Year was upon us. Mawson New Year’s Eve was celebrated at the Chippies Workshop (in glorious sunshine and low wind) with a western theme BBQ, where succulent slow cooked spiced brisket was followed by BBQ rib eye and a specially prepared cactus juice beverage! After dinner entertainment was provided by the renowned Antarctic muso Tommy D in an unplugged session on the Chippies deck. Later in the evening, New Year’s Eve fireworks provided a spectacular display for both those on station and our intrepid Béchervaise Island scientists who viewed the display from across Kista Strait.
As 2020 begins, all at Mawson wish all our readers good health, happiness, love, prosperity and peace.- Dr. Jan Wallace (Mawson Expedition Medical Officer)