When I was growing up, we made everything. Creativity was highly valued. Being a young single mother, I want my child to experience to joy of making Christmas like I did and it allows me to save money at the same time. The ornaments I am making this year are very simple because my child is still small. The older he gets, the more complex I can make them. Here is what we did.
Cut a 3″ Christmas tree out of felt. Now cut another Christmas tree making this one of a contrasting color and 6″. As you make it taller, make sure to make it wider too. Now using the embroidery floss, stitch the small tree into the middle of the large tree. Sew a button on top of the small tree to act as the star or a quantity of tiny buttons to look like ornaments on the tree. Cut another large tree. Stitch the two large trees together with the small tree on the outside. Seams are also on the outside. Before I finish sewing the two trees together, I fill the inside with poly fill. Now I can finish stitching it closed. I attach ribbon to use as a hanger.
Instead of a tree, I can do this with circles and inside of the circle attach pictures of my family. I can also hot glue instead of embroider as my child gets older. Make stars, bells and snowmen. Your children can stuff these while they are small. As they get older they can cut and still older, they can sew. Allow them to design some too. The other part of the tradition is to take the ornaments and give them to a senior center or pediatric ward. It is the best lesson to teach your children.