There ain't nothin' wrong with those Santa's you whittled, they look just fine to me
. Plus, you most likely only used a knife, whereas I used various palm tools and knives on my Santa.
I have a book on carving santas, knomes, robed figures, whatever you wanna' call 'em, that is really good. I decided to carve one using only my Queen whittler, then decided to add one tool, a small u gouge to add some detail in the beard. It's amazing sometimes, what adding one simlple tool can do to the character of the carving.
These are easy and quick to do, using only a 2"x2"x6" block of wood or larger/smaller, depending on how big you wanna' make him.