One alternative is to save fruits throughout the year and home dry them and then make them (needle and thread), into little trees or stars or wreaths, come holiday time. You can either use a real fruit dehydrator, or improvise them yourself. Use cinnamon redhots or dried cranberries for the "bulbs." You can use a toilet paper or paper towel roll for the frame of the tree, if need be, twisting the top part, and even cutting the roll into sections and cutting slits in the rolls to make it like a Douglas Fir or Starr Pine when stacked on each other.
My husband's clerk made us all wreaths made from cornflakes mixed with small marshmallows mixed in with them and a lot of green food dye with the cinnamon redhots for holly berries on them. You can even hang them on the tree for decorations. They come out beautiful with a vivid emerald green color and look and taste great and kids really love them (like rice crispy treats)! Here is the recipe:
XMas Wreath Cookies
1/4 cup butter or oleomargarine
3 cups mini-marshmallows
1 1/2 teaspoons greed food color
4 cups unsweetened corn flakes (she notes Kelloggs are best)
Cinnamon Redhot candies
Heat butter and marshmallows in saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until marshmallows are melted. Stir in food coloring. Remove from heat, stir in corn flakes. Cool just until warm. form mixture into 1" balls, place on greased cookie sheet (or wax paper). Make holes in center of balls, forming a wreath. Place candy on wreath for berries. Let stand until firm. Store in single layers, separated by wax paper in airtight container.
I also save llitle scraps from sewing projects and make them into either little quilts, or dolls for babies. My grandmother used to be very good at the dolls. For those, you take circles of left-over cloth (almost any kind will do, but harder to work with if too thick - should be washable though). Cut them into 3 or 4" circles and then put a wide and loose stitch (on 4 on the sewing machine) through just an 1/8" from the edge. Pull the threads tight and tie on each on, making a smaller circle from them, with the raw edges in the underside center hidden.
Make dozens of these little circles, and then divide them into five main groups. Take two circles and place them so that the raw edges are facing each other, so that in a row it will look like Oreo cookes stacked on one another, with the raw edges being the center of the cookie, and not exposed anywhere. Take a large needle like a tapestry or upholstery needle, and some strong thread (double strands if just cotton mercerized), and sew up through the middle of a stack of the circles, and tie off, but leave extra thread beyond the end.
Repeat that for each of the stacks, to make two arms, two legs, and a small stack for the torso. Add a little stack of 1 to 2" circles for the neck, and then make two larger circles for the head. Sew blue or green or brown thread for eyes on the front of the face, with or without a nose added and some pink thread for a mouth. Then sew the outer edges of these larger circles together, with the good side of the cloth facing each other. Leave a hole at the bottom about 2' wide so you can flip the the cloth right-side out. Now sew a 1/4" seam around that bottom exposed area. Insert extra cloth or other stuffing (we even used to use corn silk from fresh corn, and place about four of the circles from the neck segment of the doll into the head portion opening, and draw the thread closed around them. Handstitch the head closed around the neck and secure. You can add feet or hands to them too if you wish, or sew on "hair" with yarn before sewing the top pieces together.
These are designed for really young children who can't have buttons or other items around them for fear of choking. The kids like them because they are usually bright colored and floppy and fun, and they are washable, and won't hurt things if the child hits them against a crib railing.