To get the full scoop on my family's traditions surrounding ornaments, see Day One
The first year my husband and I were dating, we bought a tree and set it up in his aparment. Five or six feet tall, it wasn't a little tree and it wasn't until we had it set up that I realized all my ornaments were back at home. Between the barren tree and a bit of over zealousness for the holiday, our intent to purchase an ornament each turned into a rather impressive collection. Ooops.
One of my favorite purchases that year was a set of six small spikey glass ornaments with colored spikes. The next quarter, I used them and a piece of pine printed fabric as the basis for a project in one of my painting classes. I cut six 3"X3" squares of Masonite, and painted the ornaments on the pine fabric at varying scales. I glued strands of silver cording to create hanging loops, the length indicating how zoomed in the pieces were. I hung the whole thing in a roughly Christmas tree shaped display for our critique. I don't remember how the project went over, but I do still have the paintings. : )