This is called scherenschnitte, and it's lovely. My mom did a bunch of them years ago. I thought they were magical then, and I still think they're magical now. My dad says she missed her calling as a surgeon. She's got a real steady hand.
My brother made this. It's a gingerbread castle. Well, a graham cracker castle, anyway. He's always been a bit of an overachiever in this way. Not in an obnoxious, competitive way. But in a focused, really impressive way. Two summers ago we had a sandcastle building castle contest at the beach, and while the rest of us dug big holes and used buckets as molds, James built an Aztec temple. With a staircase.
Christmas in California is pretty jolly.