The title resumes the question...
So I officially request that hat dash continues after Christmas time.
What do you think?
I'd vote to remove it altogether after the event is over.
I've always liked the simplicity of GSE and the fact that your rep & badges are your indicator of awesomeness. The moment we start using hats as a standard metric for awesomeness, we start to venture into the scary world of "things that look like forum signatures", and the site becomes less elegant as a result.
I tolerate it as a temporary thing, and I know I could just say that "I hate hats" in the footer. However, I think showing the hats is a bad choice of default functionality.
If you insist on keeping them, make them an opt-in piece. "Show me my hat and everyone elses" means that, to new users, the site remains elegant & less distracting. Others can forum0ify it at their discretion.
It depends what you mean by "continue" it. I'd support allowing hats to be earned after the holidays and allowing us to wear hats year round. I don't want this to turn into TF2 and have a new hat for every new game that comes out, though. That's way too much work to ask of the admins and graphic artists.
I somewhat like the idea, as it's a nice visible way to perhaps show where one's interests are at the moment based on what hat you choose to wear (assuming people would wear the hat for whatever game...which could be flat wrong in many cases).
The bar for the hats seem abysmal compared to even a bronze game badge, so if this is longer-term, it would be nice to see the standards come up a bit.
This is probably a burden on the admins/artists as Dave mentions, but we might as well rip off TF2's community model as well. I'd like to see some actual QC though (by some SE employee), as people could turn out total crap and if it's some simple democratic vote, would be easy enough to pass it.