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Dear friends,
Dear community,

the end of the year 2012 is approaching with large steps, and in most countries around the globe, whether they celebrate Christmas or not, the holiday season has just begun. People meeting with old friends, their families, their beloved ones, thinking about what has happened in the past twelve months, and looking forward to what is to come the next 365 days.

For the LibreOffice community, The Document Foundation and also me personally, the current year has been an extraordinarily exciting one. One year ago, we weren't sure whether our plan to set up TDF in Berlin the way we wanted it to be - independent, meritocratic, open and transparent - would work out, or whether we had to redecide for another country. Shortly before Christmas, we received several concerns we had to address, but as all of you know, luckily everything went well, and on February 17th, The Document Foundation was finally incorporated in Berlin, marking not only a milestone in the history of free office suites, but also, I dare to say, in the history of foundations under German law ("Stiftung").

Since the creation of our very own legal entity, the LibreOffice project has seen a massive boost in activity once again. Individuals, governments and corporations from around the world have a rapidly growing interest in what we do, how we do, and how we govern ourselves. The LibreOffice community has been invited to dozens of events around the world, giving speeches, talking to major stakeholders, and, most important, fascinated more and more people to become a part of our community. This October, we have gathered in Berlin and celebrated a wonderful conference at the physical hometown of The Document Foundation, which to me marked the highlight of this year.

I am very proud for being part of this community. Exciting times are behind us, and even more exciting times are ahead. When we started TDF more than two years ago, one of our strongest wishes was to keep this spirit and this momentum we have seen during the very first days - and today, I feel this spirit and this momentum have even grown further and continue to drive us day by day.

I would like to thank all of you personally for what you have contributed to LibreOffice, The Document Foundation and free and open source software at large. I am honoured to be part of the free office community since summer 2004, and still, I am fascinated day by day to see this activity all over the world, people dedicating their heart and their passion to work on our common goal. In all those years, I not only met fantastic colleagues, but even more, true friends.

We can all be proud and thankful for what we have achieved, and can anticipate the year 2013 with confidence, as great times are ahead - the best is yet to come.

I wish all of you a wonderful holiday season, lots of time to spend with your beloved ones, time to recreate your soul and to relax, and time for those things in life that are truly important. Have a wonderful start into the new year, with lots of joy, health, success and luck, to achieve your goals and make your dreams come true.

On behalf of millions of LibreOffice users worldwide, and very personally, thank you very much for everything you do, and looking forward to be working with you in the next year!

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

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