Hey everyone, or should I say...Merry Christmas!!!

It's the season of giving and Santa Strike Force is out in force this year, once again raising funds to buy things for kids and for childrens' charities. In case you missed DeVore's post a little while back, Santa Strike Force completely paid for a machine that produced 20 hands as of October this year. I can't find the video on 3Player now, but here's an image from the clip.

There's quite a bit in the pot already, but as has been said on the thread, every little helps. So even if you can't match the generosity of some, don't feel put off adding a couple of euro . And occasionally Beasty gets really generous and chips in when donations are made, so keep an eye out for that! There's also an incredible chess set that DeVore had a hand in making up for auction. You can find out more about the project and make a bid here.

Because I didn't touch upon this in November - At this stage we're all well aware of Conor McGregor's exploits. And his first Boards post has done the rounds numerous times. But almost five years to the day after he announced himself on Boards, he went on to win the Lightweight belt. And that trademark posting style didn't change at all when he had to back it up in real life! We wonder who else is browsing Boards while pursuing a path towards greatness. Something else that we think is pretty cool is that his coach, John Kavanagh, still keeps an eye on the MMA forum. He took to Boards after McGregor's win to celebrate with the fans here.

As you'd expect, the Christmas forum is really busy at the moment. If you need ideas for things to do, fun traditions, entertainment, or just want to chat about all things Christmas, it's the perfect forum to get you in the mood.

A tipple is often a part of Christmas, so we'd like to draw your attention to three AMAs sponsored by Molloys Liquor Stores. If you want to expand your knowledge of beer, wine, or whiskey, we have AMAs with Emma & Cathal from Rascal Brewing Company, Maureen from Premier Wine Training, and Stephen Teeling from Teelings Whiskey. You can submit your questions right now in the respective threads.

If you need some culinary ideas this Christmas, or you'd like to share a recipe of your own, it's worth checking out the Food forum's Christmas Dinner thread. Warning: you may feel hungry after reading through it.

But before you get to the big day, you may have some work to wrap up. Should you require a little bit of a distraction for a couple of minutes, it's worth tuning into the Christmas-themed game of Werewolf that's going on. It should entertain you over the next few days and possibly get you a little more prepared to jump straight into the madness yourself the next time around.

In site-wide news, I'd like to highlight the good work of the Motoring & Transport mods and the Admins who have done a little bit of shuffling things around over there. The forum's structure has been cleaned up, and there has been some reordering and renaming.

With the end of the year approaching, some forums have particular traditions. The Animal & Pet Issues forum is running its annual Christmas Photo Competition with a top prize of €20 donated to the charity of the winner's choosing and another €20 into the Santa Strike Force pot on their behalf. You can vote for a winner here, but you can whittle away some time enjoying the cuteness of all the other entries.

The Gaming forum is also celebrating the year just gone with the 2016 iteration of its Game Awards. This will highlight the best games of the year across a variety of platforms, as well as more fun accolades like Best Boss Fight, Pleasant Surprise, and the WTF Were They Thinking Award. Nomination threads can be found in the Game Awards subforum.

If Golf is your sport of choice, the Golf forum has had posters recapping the year that was for them, highlighting the good and bad times. The Boards Golf Society has also put together a list of events for 2017. Points will be awarded for all of these events and the Ryder Jug team (which the Golf Society won this year) will be chosen from the Golfer of the Year standings plus Captain's Picks. Newcomers are always welcome.

Meanwhile, the Athletics / Running forum has a 2017 Goals thread set up. It's unlikely that anyone is planning to partake in Nike's sub-2 hour marathon marketing stunt, but it's good to have goals!

All of us here at Boards HQ hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Here's to a 2017 full of happiness, good fortune, and success.

These are a few of our favourite things:
The big debates!
Santa or Santy?
Should parents stop pretending that Santa is real?

One person's trash is another's treasure

A white rainbow

Some insight into the cows that Bothar send to Africa

Animal & Pet Issues' Secret Santa - hopefully we see some reactions!

Live feed from Dublin Airport - especially useful in periods of bad weather

Funny Houses/Flats to rent - Not all as bad as the woman with 100+ rules...but some not far off!