This is a magazine-sized periodical that was targeted for kids (Think Nickelodeon Magazine), and ties into the then-current, animated Spider-Man TV show. It contained two six-page comic strips (One staring Spider-Man and the second another Marvel hero or group - X-Men in this issue). It also contains fan art, puzzles, word searches, jokes, and kid-targeted features (on nature, etc.), as well as bios of Spidey, and other Marvel characters (Gambit in this issue). Most of the issues (#1 and from #4 forward) contained uncut sheets of Marvel trading cards bound inside. The entire contents of the mag are done in that free-wheeling, jokey, Marvel Bullpen style. The mag was packaged by an outside firm, and distributed by Marvel. Starting with issue #8, the magazine became a flip-book, with the second half of the book "upside-down" to the first half.
As is obvious from the title, this story is a Christmas story (and thus, more likely that any of the other Spidey stories that have appeared thus far to actually be a part of "official" Marvel cannon). As the story starts out, Spidey is swinging his way back to see his lovely wife, Mary Jane Watson- Parker, and grousing that he doesn't have enough money to buy her a Christmas present. When he lands on the roof of his building, he sees some of his neighbors, a single mom and her son. He overhears her say that Santa might just miss them (again) this year, and he might not get the Bike for which he asked. Her son says that it is okay, he understands and then heads inside to go to bed. When the boy is gone, the mother laments that she's out of work and can't afford to buy stuff for her son.
Of course this makes Spidey feel worse, and determines to spend what little he has to help out the family. So he heads off to the toy store to buy a bike, only to discover that he doesn't have enough to spring for a bike. While there, Santa and a couple of elves stroll in, but not to visit the kids, they're there to rob the place! At which point Peter changes back into Spidey and takes on the Christmas crooks. He makes short work of the trio and the grateful store manager offers Spidey a reward. Which Spidey takes as a bike for the young boy, and the promise of a job for his mom, thus making Christmas wonderful for them after all.
Keeping with the holiday theme the back-up story featuring Storm and Jubilee of the X-Men in another winter story.
Keeping in mind that this is targeted for kids, it plays out fine (if you go for that kind of thing-my son seemed to like it when he was younger). It really isn't an item that most Spidey (or Marvel superhero) fans will want to seek out and actively collect, but if they stumbled across it, it is kind of fun to have. Again, both of the stories in this issue, were above average, and thus more readable than what came before.
The comic stories are simplistic and probably don't fit into any actual continuity. Plus the feature articles are all one-two pages long. The jokes are cute, but if the comic was owned by a kid, they probably have completed all of the puzzles, thus bringing down any real (or imagined) value of the book as far as hard-core collectors are concerned. While both stories in this issue are above average, they are still targeted for the kiddies, and won't really garner much interest among all but the hard-core fans.
This issue contains an uncut sheet of four bound-in '95 Fleer Ultra Series trading cards (Gambit, Magneto, Bishop, & Storm).