Like every year, the new members of the group organised our Christmas party - a tradition which dates back to the era of Prof. Barz, the founder of our Institute. And just like every year, we had a splendid party, with lots of food from around the world, and of course with Glühwein and Feuerzangenbowle. When the bellies were full and the spirits were high, our youngsters organised a lab pub quiz with many rounds - we all came out as winners, at least that’s how it feeled. Francisco Goycoolea also joined us, and so did Uschi Windmüller, and a few of our alumni. It has been a very successful year, with so far 13 papers accepted (and 3 pending revisions) just shy of our record of 14 papers in 2015, but with a cumulative impact factor of almost 73 (assuming IF values of 2016 as the 2017 values, of course, are not available yet) even far higher than our all-time high of 57 in 2015. More importantly, we had three successful BSc graduates: Anna Klaverkamp, Jamie Lötzer, and Margareta Hellmann (all three of them continuing with MSc studies); we had three successful MSc graduates: Anna-Lena Falz (now doing a PhD in Bonn), Frauke Lankamp (now working with Weiss BioTech near Paris), and Pascal Poweleit (soon doing a PhD in the Prüfer group); and we had three successful doctoral graduates: Anne Vortkamp (now working at Geisenheim University), Stefan Cord-Landwehr (now a post-doctoral researcher with us), and Maha Attjioui (now pursuing post-doctoral research in Ireland). On top of it all, Stefan Cord-Landwehr won the Braconnot prize of the European Chitin Society. Then, Rebecca Melcher, who obtained her doctoral degree with us last year, is about to start her spin-off biotech start-up company here in Münster. And Evorion, “our” start-up of last year (inherited from Francisco Goycoolea), won the Sybille Hahne Gründerpreis. If that is not a successful year!