The credit for this little block tree goes entirely to my mom. We've had one of these decorations in our house for as long as I can remember: my mom used to make dozens of them when I was younger, and I remember several different variations living on our dining room table at one time or another.
My sister and I loved these trees so much we even came up with a game that we played every year at Christmas-time: the tree was our dinnertime centerpiece as we sat across from each other, and while we ate we would secretly pick out a small figurine on our side of the tree. Then we would alternate asking each other yes or no questions to try and figure out which figurine the other one had picked.
Is your guy sitting down?
Is he holding something?
Does he have feet?
Is he wearing red?
Is he wearing a hat?
The figurines, being mostly Santa Clauses and snowmen, were alike enough that each question didn't immediately give it away. When we thought we had enough clues at our disposal, we spun the tree around and tried to find the figurine that the other girl had chosen.
This was a staple of our Christmases for many years, and as new trees circulated through each holiday season, we were never short on new figurines with which to play the game.
The construction of this decoration is fairly simple. You'll need some colorful letter blocks, hot glue, and small Christmas figurines (or whatever holiday/ theme you prefer). Generally you can find these figurines in craft stores: little ornaments work well once you clip off the string at the top.
Assemble the bottom row of blocks in a circle. You can make them any size you like; my tree has eleven blocks as its base. Stack a circle of nine blocks on top of those, gluing them down with hot glue in between the spaces of the blocks below. Continue in this fashion until you have a single block at the top.
Decorate your completed tree with the small figurines glued to each of the open blocks. You may even glue flat decorations onto the sides of the blocks, if you choose.
I hope this tree makes its way into your holiday traditions as it has done mine.
And thanks, mom, for being my very first art/crafty idol and inspiration through the years. (Although we can pretend those puff-paint shirts from 1985 never happened...)