My sisters and I used to make chains in the 1940s. We used different strips of paper overlapped and glued together. We used to have competitions to see who could make the longest chain. Being a neat child, I loved doing this because it absorbed me. The peeling linoleum on the floor didn't matter—everyone lived with that in our area during those austere times. It was Christmas. We three girls were excited, even though we had no expectation of fancy toys. We might find a packet of sweets or licorice in our stocking and maybe a Girls Annual from our Grandmother.
Not only does creating the decoration give satisfaction, but children can join in and use their brain to perfect the skill. It cost nothing, and unites the family.