Well, the big day is almost here and all of the last minute shopping is done, just in time to usher in the post-Christmas day sales. I'm not sure how often I'll get the chance to blog over the next few days, but I at least wanted to get this one published before I get sucked into the festivities and enjoying any new loot I might acquire over the next day or so. Oh, there will be loot - with a Wii U under the tree and X-COM downloading on Steam...I'll be busy.

Anyway, before I started on this blog I took a look at what I posted last year and I liked it so much I'm actually going to plagiarize a lot of it for this blog. Of course if you want to read the original, you can find it here.

I started off with this...

Tomorrow is Christmas which obviously means tonight is Christmas Eve. I know not everybody celebrates or recognizes Christmas, but there is no denying that's what tomorrow is. Hey, I'm not a fan of Columbus Day. I kind of think it's a sham, but I still recognize the holiday every year when it rolls around. So whether you celebrate it or not, tomorrow is Christmas. Don't worry though, I'm not going to preach the Christmas story, but if you are interested in learning the meaning of Christmas, might I recommend the Charlie Brown Christmas Story version. You can watch everything you need to know here.

Last year I started on a gamer's version of the traditional "Twas the Night Before Christmas" poem...and last year I only got about two verses in before I realized I wasn't going to finish it in time. Well, this year I added a few more verses, but yeah...still not going to finish it. Man, I never realized that was such a long song.

Twas the Night Before Christmas Poem (Gamer's Edition)

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the 'net

Not a gamer was sleeping, achievements still left to get

The controllers were held by their owners with care

In hopes that victory would soon be theirs to share


The gamers were still up and logged onto their games

Some sat in silence while others called their opponents names

And some on their Xboxes and others on their PS3s

A few on their portables and a couple on their Wiis


When out on the server arose such a lag spike

I sprang from my chair and yelled into my mic

Away to the router I flew like a flash

I located the power button and gave it a mash


The light of the monitor emanating a soft glow

I had been disconnected, the screen did show

When, what to my surprised eyes did I see

A big brown truck with yellow letters, I'd say there were three


With a young driver so cool and hip

I thought it was Steve but maybe it was Chip

Slower than molasses, his truck lumbered along

He, listening to his iPod while humming the song


...to be continued, but I think you see the direction I'm going with this.

This next part, I found really kind of neat. It's amazing looking back and reading about the community...and comparing it with where we are today. Hard to believe this was written a year ago today since it looks and feels just as relevant now.

Take a look at the old, with some new comments in bold...

I finally just decided to wing it and talk about something I hold near and dear to my heart and that's the Game Informer community. This truly is a special place. Not because I say so or think so but because every day I'm here I witness simple acts of kindness. I witness real friendships develop and prosper. I witness the community open its arms to newcomers. I witness the veterans who have been here awhile continuing to support and strengthen the community.

We enjoy a team of podcasters who week in and week (although they have certainly scaled back their frequency) out bring quality content to the masses. Nearly all of the regular podcasts have this in common - they have hosted fellow community members and even hosts from other podcasts on their own show. There is no competition, there is camaraderie. They're also similar in that they have provided us, the community, with exclusive interviews from people actually working in the industry. Sure, they might not be able to pull down the big names like John Carmack or Gabe Newell, but the fact that they have brought anyone working in the industry is an amazing accomplishment (The Jacked Up Indie and Mojo Show routinely host real personalities from the video game industry on their podcast + a number of members from the community).

We enjoy a team of bloggers who consistently post quality content. In the last 17 weeks, we've never had fewer than 50 bloggers contribute to the community and we enjoy roughly 7 blogs per day. Very few communities provide bloggers of any experience access to such a large audience as they have available here at Game Informer. The community here is very supportive of the bloggers (I plan to post and updated blogging statistics blog soon, but we did have one week that hit 48, but the average per week is 65. We posted over 5,400 blogs in 2012 and have seen some tremendous growth over the year).

But what makes the Game Informer community even more special often takes place behind the scenes. You can't read about it in the blogs or see it posted in the forums. But it's there. It's community members continuing their relationships after they navigate away from Game Informer. It's community members sending each other Christmas cards and presents. It's the staff supporting and recognizing the user community and its moderator team. It's everything that transcends normal community behavior that makes this website such an enjoyable place to congregate. I don't really want to go into all the details, because they don't really matter, but this community really does take care of itself (All still true).

Whether tomorrow is Christmas or just another Sunday (or Tuesday, as the case may be this year) for you, my hope is that you enjoy the day to its fullest. Long time readers and friends, it's been a real honor spending another year here with you. As the year winds down, my hope is you have a great holiday and blessed New Year. If you're reading my blog for the first time, then you've found your way to Game Informer and I hope you enjoy that too. It truly is the greatest video game community on the Internet. Everybody has something to offer, so join in and welcome to the community.

Peace be with you all!