Happy Christmas

It's hard to believe the time is already here, but we're now into the Holiday season once again. Whether it's the Holidays, Christmas or neither to you, it's a chance to unwind, think about the year that has passed and get excited about what's still to come.

From a Nintendo perspective this year has been rather wonderful. The Switch defied some fears and concerns to take off, with demand remaining high as the year draws to a close. It's been a major success for the company, giving Nintendo breathing room as the 3DS continues to slowly wind down and the 'Nintendo Mobile' strategy evolves.

Both Switch and 3DS have been defined, of course, by their games. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (also a fitting Wii U farewell) and Super Mario Odyssey have been the obvious big-hitters on Switch, while titles like Metroid: Samus Returns have stood out on 3DS; there are many more besides. The Switch, in particular, has had an incredible line-up in its first year, not just in retail but also in the ever-growing and improving eShop catalogue. The little hybrid console / portable has flourished, while those of us with a soft spot for the 3DS have had occasions to boot them up.

Exciting times for Nintendo have boosted all of us at Nintendo Life. It's been a hoot this year, with the new luxury of struggling to keep up with reviews and all of the buzz around the big N. Taking part and sharing in that is always a privilege.

As this is my final Christmas post on these pages I want to give a special thanks to the writing team that have gone above and beyond this year and in the past with news, reviews, interviews and editorials. Also a special thanks to the Triforce of directors for their support and humour, and Alex for his endeavours on YouTube. Our team grew a lot this year to cater to the Switch craze and everyone has worked their socks off. Over the past month I've also seen incoming editor Dom Reseigh-Lincoln in action, and I'm excited to say that the site is going to be in great hands in 2018 and beyond.

The biggest thanks, of course, goes to all of you in the Nintendo Life community. Whether you read quietly and then depart, or if you're active in the comments and live blog chats, your contribution is very much appreciated. We love sharing passion for Nintendo, and challenging it on occasions, and our purpose is always to serve you and provide an online Ninty home. Whether it's engaging in debates or sharing goofy jokes during a Nintendo Direct, it's all only possible because you take time out of your day to come and visit us - thank you.

I hope you all have a wonderful break over the next couple of weeks. Sometimes the demands and societal expectations during this time of year take the joy out of it - we spend too much money, or it can be difficult for those spending the time alone or without a particular loved one. We don't all have the Hallmark Christmas, but I truly hope you all have a wonderful break no matter how it's spent. Whether it's a traditional week with family, fun time with friends or quiet time alone at home, find something you love to do and treat yourself. Read a favourite book, watch a great film or two, play a treasured game, go on day trips, whatever works for you. It's an opportunity for a deep breath and a smile, to look on the bright side of life and plan for a better 2018.

Hopefully we can all do that. 2017 has been a turbulent and extremely difficult year for some, as is the case every year. What matters the most, going into 2018, is that we all focus on how each day can be better than the last. To repeat what I've said on past occasions, empathy, positivity and kindness - whether in forums talking about games, social media or out there in the bigger world - remain the most important qualities that we can all share.

With that in mind I'll sign off. On behalf of Nintendo Life I'd like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.