It's just about the right time to start thinking about and actually carving some Christmas items. Each year I try to do a new and different Christmas tree ornament. I like to carve Gnomes, so this year I decided to make a Gnome into an appropriate tree ornament. I soon discovered that this ornament would be a good one to present to carvers with a modest amount of experience. What I am sayin, is that it's not that difficult.
This Gnome is carved in the round, using 1/2" Basswood for the body, head and hat; and 1/4" for the arms. It's almost a necessity to cut the arms out separate from the body and attach them. It's a lot easier too. The presents that the Gnome is carrying are just cut from scrap 1/2" and 1/4" wood. This is a fast whittle.
I have found it easier if I shape the arms before glueing them to the Gnomes body. However, you may find it easier to glue them to the body and then shape them. It actually takes longer to glue and paint.