What are your family Christmas traditions? :D
This is just a family tradition, not a U.S. tradition.
One of the decorations we put on our tree is a homemade decoration, a chain of "carpenter's curls." We made the chain by planing thin strips off of wooden boards. We adjusted the plane and kept the board wet to get good curls. As each strip emerges from the plane, it acquires a tight curl. Because the strips are wet, the curl is soft and can be adjusted and shaped with the fingers. Each curl is about 4 cm. in diameter.
The curls look sort of like these:
However, with a little practice you can get curls that look like a circle. The ends are not joined and the curls wraps around several times. It is easy to link them together to form a chain. We made these chains about thirty years ago they have darkened with age to a very nice color.