Usually we just have some Divine Chocolate advent calendars. So this year I dutifully bought the choccie calendars. Then on the Green Parent forum there were ideas to do for advent, and I loved the idea of a Christmas book per day. So I went around the house collecting Christmas-sy books to find we had 18, so a trip to the library brought our total up to 24.
Combined with the advent candle, we can sit and read a Christmas related story whilst the candle burns. Great reading practice for the boys too!
To top it all off, my aunt turned up with the most gorgeous wooden advent calendar in the shape of a reindeer head, with 24 hooks on the antlers and little hessian sacks to hang from them. She even provided toffees to go in the sacks! 3 toffees will fit in one sack, so Sophie will have to miss out for now, even though she has discovered that she likes them!
This makes so much more of a family tradition to Christmas than your standard advent calendars. I'm hoping a tradition is in the making. So whilst this year there seems to be a bit of a sweetie overload, next year we can dispense with the chocolate and find an alternative to toffees, ie something we can get 4 of in the sacks!!