Christmas stockings from old sweaters -- I think I would line them with a fabric to make them easier to get stuff in and out. My mom HATED our knit stockings we had as kids for that reason! Everything we put in them would snag on the stockings.
If you are fond of lights and creating a warm ambiance in your living room at night, this is one of the alternative decorating ideas that you can do. Get empty bottles in varying sizes and place tea light candles inside them. To create unique light vases, wrap some patterned laces in various designs for that cheap candle holder decor.