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the hats get put back in their boxes on January 4th

Do the hats affect me in any way after the 4th? A badge or something in my profile about how many I unlocked?

Edit: Can I request some form of persistence... please?

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24  
We totally need a Mad Hatter badge. –  Charles Dec 19 '12 at 3:09
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That's my birthday. I guess I shouldn't participate if I am to avoid having a meltdown on my birthday. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Dec 19 '12 at 3:21
    
Ewww, I dont want to imagine a unicorn being born .. sounds pokey –  user147272 Dec 19 '12 at 4:37
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I really hope the horn is an after-delivery installation... –  Monica Cellio Dec 20 '12 at 3:19
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You can keep them indefinitely, but you'll need 1) A color printer, 2) some good cardstock and duct tape, and 3) to not have a contact allergy to duct tape. –  Jaydles Dec 20 '12 at 15:38
    
You should ship hats I feel –  Jigar Joshi Dec 24 '12 at 23:13
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We wanna keep our hats forever !! –  Imane Fateh Dec 20 '13 at 14:51
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2 Answers

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Do the hats affect me in any way after the 4th? A badge or something in my profile about how many I unlocked?

Well, only if you choose to put such information in your profile. More realistically, you get the sense of pride that you unlocked X many hats on Y many sites, and that you got to have a little fun on, of all sites, Stack Overflow.

It's fun! Have fun with it! If it lasted all the time, this wouldn't be nearly as special as it is. Besides, never fear -- we might even do this next year!

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But I need something about it to last. Such as the number of hats I have or a badge... NEED. –  Austin Henley Dec 20 '12 at 0:55
    
@AustinHenley TAKE SCREENCAPTURES. Screengrabs are forever. Well, no. Screengrabs are until Photoshop, but still! –  Aarthi Dec 20 '12 at 1:10
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I'm thinking yearly tradition. Shenanigans this time of year are unavoidable, this promo (even early on) has proven to be a very constructive venue for that energy. –  Tim Post Dec 20 '12 at 1:11
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In all likelihood, nothing, except maybe fond memories. The Winter Bash FAQ has this to say:

After January 4th, the sites go back to normal and all hats disappear. This is meant to be a fun end-of-year celebration, not a permanent addition to the site.

Also, when we had the Hat Dash event at Arqade last year, we didn't get to keep anything either. Unlocked hats were displayed publicly on hatdash.com for a while, but eventually that was taken down and consigned to the promos archive.

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8  
I need persistence! –  Austin Henley Dec 19 '12 at 3:17
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Yeah well. We were promised persistence of a sort and that didn't happen either. It's injustice I say –  lunboks Dec 19 '12 at 3:27
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I worked hard for those... uh... however many hats I got on Gaming. Hard, I tell you! –  mmyers Dec 19 '12 at 5:01
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@lunboks: I'm very disappointed that a hat event on gaming was not preserved in the form of a high-score table, with people allowed to enter their initials. I mean, come on. –  McCannot Dec 19 '12 at 19:10
    
@AustinHenley, you can always take screenshots. –  Monica Cellio Dec 20 '12 at 3:20
    
Stackexchange should ship it :) –  Jigar Joshi Dec 24 '12 at 23:14
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