...when almost all of the searches leading people here are for for "advent" and "advent calendar". So let me point you in that direction....
Celebrating Advent :: Part 1 Ideas for the advent calendar -- what and why.
Celebrating Advent :: Part 2 Huge compilation of ideas for what to put into the advent calendar.
I've been thinking, now that Martinmas is passed, that I really need to sit down and make a "skeleton" of our days in December -- the activities I know we want to do, my husband's work and gig schedule, and figuring out which things can be done on which days.
Even in the two years since writing these advent posts, our family's celebration has shifted a bit. We are giving fewer "object" gifts than ever -- many, many more "opportunity" gifts. (Activities, coupons -- for treats like cocoa before bed, or night walks, etc.)
Anyway, I hope that you all receive these posts in the spirit that I offered them -- as a help for simplifying the holiday season by drawing it out. By not allowing it to get out of control with doing and buying too much, but paring it down to the essentials, the things that make this time of year really special for you and your family. Please don't take my suggestions as yet another thing to pile onto an already overfull month. The last thing I would want is for you to be burdoned with guilt about needing to add a complicated new tradition to your lives. But if it helps you to have some structure (today we'll decorate, next week we'll bake, etc.), and gives your family a joyful way to celebrate, then I hope my suggestions are helpful to you.