I am totally copying my friend, Sharon, this year and starting a new tradition of doing an advent calendar that is full of little holiday "assignments" for Willa. I've been planning it for weeks and am really excited about it. The assignments are a mix between religious and secular. I pulled out Matt's call schedule and my (nearly empty) calendar and planned some fun stuff. So far it has been a hit.
Day 1- Add Jesus, Mary, and Joseph to your Little People nativity and talk about Jesus’ birth.
We set up her nativity minus Jesus, Mary, and Joseph (and minus the wise men set. That will come another day) over Thanksgiving weekend. Willa was so excited to add baby Jesus. We had Mary ride the donkey and Joseph walk to Bethlehem (across the room) and then added baby Jesus once they got there. She's been carrying baby Jesus around and feeding him milk the last two days.
Day 2 - Make paper snowflakes and decorate the window
Willa was a little young for this one. But she had fun telling me which shapes to cut and then opening them up and pointing to the shapes on the snowflakes. She has basically ignored them since they've been on the window. The scotch tape was more fun to play with than the snowflakes. I like to look at them though.
After Willa completes the "assignment," she earns a piece of a magnetic nativity for the refrigerator. I printed this one off, mounted each piece on cardstock, laminated them, and then added magnets. It turned out really cute. And better yet, Willa really likes it. The link has pdf files of the individual pieces if you want a copy. http://lds.about.com/od/visualmusicalaids/a/adventcalendar.htm
Kids make the holidays so fun!