Holidays in McMurdo are pretty similar to holidays anywhere else, but with a certain Antarctic twist. The galley – where we eat every day – was decorated and festive, and it made it easier for us to celebrate away from home.

Karen, Tracy and Breana in front of the Christmas tree in the galley.
Karen, Tracy and Breana

The penguin menorah in the galley.
Penguin Menorah

Several members of our team decided to hike/ski to Castle Rock. It’s a 7 mile hike from McMurdo to Castle Rock and back again, partially over soil and partially over snow and ice. If you want to hike it, you have to check out with the Firehouse and tell them when you expect to be back. If you don’t get back on time, they send a Search and Rescue party after you! It might be wonderful weather, but this is Antarctica, and certain precautions must be taken to ensure the safety of everyone living and working in McMurdo.

Here you can see Bishwo and Nick hiking back home.
Nick and Bishwo

Nick tries to do a bit of skiing…
Nick Skis to Castle Rock

…it’s harder than it looks!
To Castle Rock

Bishwo is from Nepal, and we tried to convince him that “Decorating The Bishwo” was an important American Christmas tradition. He did not believe us.
Decorating Bishwo

Which of your favorite holiday traditions do you think would be fun in McMurdo?

We shared a wonderful dinner, listened to carols, and after dinner we exchanged gifts (some of OUR favorite holiday traditions). Perhaps the most popular gifts were the wind-up toys. We were happy and thankful for spending it with friends in McMurdo. We hope you all had a great holiday season, too!