Feast your eyes upon these cute little Santas! I have done my duty by the season. Mom and I made the spice cookie dough (with cinnamon, cocoa powder, ginger, allspice, lemon peel, and ground pepper) together and Mom rolled it out, cut it in circles, and baked it. Then I did the faces: white and pink frosting, blackcurrant eyes, candied cherry noses, shredded coconut for the beards, and marshmallows for the pompoms on the hats.
They were made for RCIA class at church. I often bring treats for that class and for a while I was bringing them with Halloween napkins, decorated with bats and jack-o'-lanterns. We joked about the pagan napkins. So when Mom saw my plans for Santa Claus cookies she laughed that I was going pagan again. I loftily informed her that these are, of course, St. Nicholas cookies, and what could be more Catholic than that?
Thursday would have been an even better day to make them-- it's December 6, the feast of St. Nicholas!
Santa's fur-trimmed red outfit evolved from what some Catholic bishops used to wear (St. Nicholas was bishop of Myra, in present-day Turkey.) In fact, bishops of Rome have worn the camauro since medieval times, and still do. I love it that they don't let some silly commercialized Santa Claus stop them. :)