Bring the molasses and shortening to a boil in a saucepan.
Cool slightly; add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Chill several hours or overnight in refrigerator; then roll on a floured board to 1/8" thickness.
Cut with fancy cutters into Santa Clauses, Christmas trees, angels, men-in-the-moon, or any desired shapes.
Arrange on greased or oiled cookie sheets.
Bake in a moderately hot oven of 375°F for 8 min.
When cool, frost with an icing of confectioners' sugar and water.
Then before this icing has a chance to set, decorate with silver dragees, red or green sugar, or tiny varicolored candies.