I use different variations of sugar cookie recipes from German cookbooks and they always work. Lazy me makes the dough the night before - that way I can melt the butter completely for easy quick mixing, and then I cool it overnight.
pack vanilla sugar or 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 10 minutes. Decorate away. Yes they are sugary but hey it's Christmas. I also like to sometimes use 250g flour and 250g almond flour to give it almond taste. To glaze them I just mix lemon juice with confectioner's sugar. They also go great with white chocolate on top. And if you are into spices, adding cinnamon, allspice and other christmasy spices give them a special kick; as well as adding some lemon zest.