Let's face it: Santa Claus just isn't cutting it anymore. In this era of movie superheroes, who wants to see an old fat guy with a beard coming down their chimney on Christmas Eve? Here're some suggestions for possible replacements.
Yeah, yeah: You think we're going to do the "Santa Claws" joke, don't you? Well, that's not why we're suggesting Marvel's merchandisable mutant for the position of New Santa. Instead, we're being practical about it: Wolverine currently appears in five monthly comics (Astonishing X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, Wolverine: Weapon X, New Avengers, Wolverine: First Class) and countless mini-series, special issues and whatnot on a regular and endless basis. Who could be more prepared to deliver presents all around the world than someone who's used to being in several places at once? Which leads us to...
Staying with Marvel's X-Men family, the central character of Peter David's X-Factor has the ability to make multiple duplicates of himself, which again could come in handy with that whole "Making sure everyone around the world has presents on Christmas morning" thing. Plus, he might be tempted to get Guido to dress up as an elf, which would present all manner of visual hilarity.
Pro Number One: His costume is already almost the right color. Pro Number Two: Superspeed means that he won't just be able to get all the deliveries done in one night, he could also probably make all the toys that night as well, giving him the rest of the year to fight crime and romance Iris West as needs be. Pro Number Three: Santa's real name would now be Barry. Unfortunately, given the Flash's long-standing gimmicky tradition for being late for important things, children around the world would be both disappointed and confused that their stockings would remain unfilled until December 28th.
The Fantastic Four
It's almost fitting that Marvel's "first family" could replace such a family favorite, but they definitely have the skill set: The Human Torch can guide the sleigh, replacing Rudolph in both flying and lighting the way roles, and it'd take the Thing's strength to be able to carry a sack full of enough gifts for all the kids in the world. As for the Invisible Woman and Mr. Fantastic, they'd be needed to actually deliver the gifts: Reed Richards can stretch down the chimney to do it all old-school, while Sue makes sure that no-one sees him (or the rest of them) as they fly around the world in a specially-decorated Pogo Plane. And if this isn't actually the plot of some old Fantastic Four comic from my youth, then I want a credit when it inevitably appears in one in the future.
If ever there was a superhero who embodied the Christmas Spirit, it's Clark Kent's alter-ego. It's not just the ability to move at superspeed and get the deliveries done in time - And if he forgot anyone, he could always just fly backwards around the world, go back in time and fix that oversight - or his ongoing (and, in almost every sense, entirely successful) attempts to represent the best in humanity and inspire others to do the same that we're thinking about here. It's not even that he's had on-the-job training from the old guy himself. No, what convinces us that Superman should get the gig for official new Christmas Icon is that like Jesus, he was given to humanity to save us from ourselves. Yes, he could be our new Santa and our new Jesus! It's like a Double Christmas Bonus, and really, isn't that the Greatest Gift Of All?