Any chance of making Hats a permanent feature for GIS?
Perhaps even make up hats specific to GIS in some fashion (pun intended).
Unfortunately, no. The hats are not permanent. Winter Bash hats are always temporary that get put back in the box when hat season is over.
If you want hats to remain, then you should wear a hat, take a screenshot of your avatar with it and change your avatar as you'd like. But we've got no plans to make hats permanent.