Happy Christmas, everyone!
We're just five days from the big day that the Christmas forum has been counting down to since January! You have to admire the passion.
If you're still waiting for the festive feelings to hit, the Christmas forum's Spotify playlist may get you in the mood. There's plenty of Christmas related chatter to either help you out at this time of year or distract you from the mounting to-do list! You can chat about this year's Christmas Adverts; Christmas Eve traditions, some of which we may be stealing ourselves; Christmas Crafts; Christmas Movies; Christmas baking and cooking; and so much more!
If you're looking for cooking and baking advice this Christmas, the Food forum naturally deserves a mention. There's a dedicated Christmas 2019 thread to discuss what you'll be whipping up, a thread to show off photos of what you had for your dinner, and a baking thread which might inspire your Christmas dessert (if you can manage any more food!).
Christmas FM launched back in November and the fans on Boards got a shout out from Ronan as part of the studio tour and his first show for the year. Meanwhile, some festive cheer was brought to the office as a choir appeared to perform Gloria for us.
With recent weather warnings, there has been plenty of interest and activity in the Weather forum. As Christmas Day gets closer, models and charts are going to get more accurate. The regulars are pouring over any information available to work out if we're likely to enjoy a White Christmas. This is the 10th iteration of the thread and it's great to see it going strong.
Plenty of bands and artists know that Christmas is a great time to announce and sell tickets. Keep an eye on the Gigs & Events forum for announcements and rumblings. If you have purchased tickets for someone, and that ticket happens to be for the Hella Mega Tour (Green Day, Fall Out Boy, and Weezer), sabrewulf has once again made some mockup tickets. These are certainly nicer to present to someone as a gift, though you should note that the barcode is for illustration only; you will have to hand over the uglier Ticketmaster tickets.
Secret Santa can be a risky proposition in the office. Do you get something you think the person will enjoy, do you just get alcohol, or do you go for "something fun" (which may leave the person wishing you had just handed them €10!)? Animals tend to be a little easier to please! The Animals & Pet Issues forum's annual Secret Santa is almost done and dusted. All gifts have arrived, and now we wait on pictures of animals tucking into new treats and toys! em_cat's pair managed to blag their way into getting their paws on their gifts already and seem to be enjoying them. Well done to all those involved and jellybear for setting it up.
With the end of the year in sight, it's a great time to reflect on 2019 (and indeed the decade this time around!). The Game Awards is open for another year. Some categories have already had their nominations posted, but there's still time to get involved. You can nominate titles that are the best in their category, the very best game of the year, and what game you are most excited about in 2020. In January, there will be a games of the decade award with the various game of the year winners from the past ten years going head to head for the ultimate prize.
Speaking of award seasons, the always popular Forum Games forum is now accepting votes for the 2019 Wolfie Awards. It's a great way to reward Werewolf players for their contributions over the year, as it's the players that make the game. You can vote on a variety of categories, including favourite game, best comeback by a winning team, best mod, favourite play or move, and many more!
Over in the Gigs & Events forum, users are sharing their favourite gigs from the year just gone. There's plenty of variety there and hopefully 2020 will be as good a year for gigs.
On the sporting front, both the Rugby forum and the Pro Wrestling forum are highlighting standout matches from the last decade - be sure not to get the two confused! The Rugby forum is chatting about standout matches and moments of the decade, while the Pro Wrestling forum is more interested in the worst matches of the decade. On a more positive note, the Pro Wrestling forum has a 2019 Awards of its own.
The Athletics & Running forum often sets challenges and goals for its members. It's been 10 years since the very first 1000 mile challenge thread was created and once again members have taken on the challenge. While it might seem a bit more daunting to get out running, there's still some time left if you're close to the milestone! And if you feel like a challenge next year, keep an eye on the Athletics & Running forum. The Athletics & Running forum is very good for setting goals. Now is a good time to reflect on 2019 and see if you've accomplished what you hoped to do and record your best times of 2019. And if you're determined to make 2020 your year, the forum's Goals for 2020 thread is up and running, pardon the pun!
If you prefer your exercise to be more aquatic, the Swimming forum also has a thread dedicated to 2019 Swim Logs. Some users have clocked a serious amount of kilometres.
The Boards Golf Society has had another excellent year, wrapping up with another win of the Ryder Jug. The 2020 season has been outlined with visits to Portmarnock Links, Royal Curragh, West Waterford, Bunclody, Tramore, Kilkea Castle, Rosslare, and Enniscrone planned. Your five best finishes over the course of the season will count towards Golfer of the Year and potentially earn you a spot on the Ryder Jug team. Membership is €30 for the year and you can find more info here.
As the next update comes out after the new year and many peoples' quests for self-improvement begin, we'll touch on some of the forums to keep tabs on ahead of January. On the fitness side of things, the Fitness and Fitness Logs forums are worth checking out. However, many will tell you that abs are built in the kitchen, so the Nutrition & Diet forum is an invaluable resource.
And if Veganuary is a tempting proposition (or you simply want to introduce the occasional vegan or vegetarian meal), the Vegan & Vegetarian forum is a must visit. This will help you get started and introduce you to some dinner inspiration, which can be a daunting prospect at the beginning.
If you want to kick cigarettes, you can find some support in the Giving Up Smoking forum. There is also a subforum dedicated to Vaping & E-Smoking, which many find a useful alternative in their bid to give up smoking. Meanwhile, if you want to undertake dry January (and possibly kickstart a new lifestyle for yourself), the Non Drinkers forum can act as a hub of information and support.
Before we wrap up, one heartwarming thread that should be mentioned is alfa beta's new, unregistered Irish-bought car from 1976. Their dad drove it home and parked it up in the garage where it remained. alfa beta wrote up a wonderful tribute to their father who passed away last year as well. We, and many others, are eagerly awaiting photos of this essentially brand new car that's more than 40 years old. Expect another reference to this thread in January if photos are shared!
That's it for me this month, this year, and this decade! We would like to thank you all for all your contributions this year and wish you all a very merry Christmas. We'll be back in January for another update so hopefully the new year starts on the best possible foot for you.