Looking through an old Christmas issue of Better Homes & Gardens (December 1961), among the weird recipes for cookies made from peanut butter, butterscotch chips and chow mein noodles* (no kidding!) and the letters to the editor about the dangers of communism (this was during the "red" scare), there was a section on making homemade Christmas ornaments. Most seem kind of silly, but the origami cranes made from colored tissue paper still look modern today.
I like the directions for folding paper cranes on this page.
This is a one of the harder designs to make with lots of tricky folds, so if you need more help, try here (and read about the peace crane project), here, and here (this is a Greek blog so you probably won't be able to read it but she has a nice photo of the finished cranes on a tree).
I bought a package of origami paper (the folk art print kind) yesterday at AC Moore so I'm going to try a few of these for my tree. And I think a string of them along the top of a window would be kind of cool, too.
* OK, I guess I know nothing about cookies because yes, these haystacks are quite popular and can also be made with chocolate chips and no peanut butter. I didn't know. Maybe it's a regional thing? They still don't sound good to me but having never tried them—who knows? Anyway, I stand corrected :)