A few years ago, by pure luck, I found a great advent count down "calendar" on ebay. It's 25 stockings hung on clothesline with pins. Each stocking was hand knit by a grandmother in England somewhere. I paid big bucks to have these shipped overseas and I'm so glad I did. I know it will be something the boys remember every year.
This year, we have several of the chocolate type advent calendars, so I didn't want to fill our stockings with more treats. I looked around online and read a few articles and found a great idea in Family Fun magazine.
I wrote out little events or ideas for the boys to read each day. Some are things like "Make Hot Cocoa". Friday, we'll be taking the boys to a special event, so that is listed on their paper in the stocking.
I hope it will provide something for these things will give them something to look forward to, but I also put in some ideas that are important in the giving part of Christmas. "Pass out treats to our neighbors" and "Think of someone who needs something you can give". I hope that this will become part of our tradition as well and these ideas will help to encourage the less commercial side of Christmas.