Lonely Planet Writer

How to receive your very own Christmas card from the Antarctic

The Antarctic is one of the most mysterious places on earth and human life is still sparse there. This year however, many children can receive their own Christmas card all the way from the South Pole.

Curious Gentoo penguins live in Antarctica...but sadly won't be sending you Christmas cards.
Curious Gentoo penguins live in Antarctica…but sadly won’t be sending you Christmas cards. Image by thibolt/Budget Travel

The free Christmas card is all thanks to a scientist at the Flemish Free University of Brussels. Children are invited to write festive wishes of goodwill to PhD student Gwenhaël de Wasseige, one of the scientists who is soon setting off to work at the South Pole over the Christmas period. Gwenhaël will reply to every child who sends her a message by the start of 2017. She promises they’ll receive a postcard all the way from the icy Antarctic, including a rare stamp from the South Pole post office. Children from Brussels had the opportunity to hand their Christmas cards at a science event in Brussels, but others can send their card via the Vrije Universiteit Brussel at the following address:

Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Antarctikaartjes (R&D WECOM)

Pleinlaan 2

1050 Elsene

Belgian children are encouraged to write to get their Antarctic Christmas card.
Belgian children are encouraged to write to get their Antarctic Christmas card.

The aim of the project is to excite children about the South Pole region and get them thinking of the scientists who work there; what are they doing and why is it important? Gwenhaël will be continuing that work by creating a social media exhibition of some photographs from the region after her trip. While your Christmas card mightn’t arrive before Santa, it is sure to be an incredible festive memento from one of the most deserted and fascinating places on earth.