I made an Advent Calendar a part of our family holiday tradition when my children were very young. It was a real help especially for my kids with special needs. It helped them manage their anticipation and kept them on track as to what to expect. They were easily upset by changes in routine, and there are certainly a lot of those during the holidays! We've kept up the tradition of using an Advent Calendar each year.
The one that we had been using is a bit "young" for us now. This year I decided that I wanted a new way to count down the days that was more suited to my family. So I created this Advent Calendar using digital scrapbook papers, traditional scrapbook elements, recycled cardboard and curtain trim.
I recycled two pieces of cardboard that some scrapbook papers shipped on as the base for the calendar. I attached them to each other and created the hanger using recycled curtain trim. I printed out digital papers from the Comfort and Joy Collection by Sugarplum Paperie. I then created pockets and tags using the papers.
Then I adorned each pocket with holiday goodies from my crafting stash. I added ribbon to each of the tags and slipped them into a coordinating pocket. I adhered the pockets to the cardboard base. 12 pockets on each piece. I must confess, of all the crafty things that I collect, I seem to be very attracted to Christmas items. I love Christmas papers and elements! So this really helped me use up some of that stash that has been accumulating!
Rather than pre-print each tag with an activity, I got some holiday colored paper and re-positional adhesive (like the kind used on Post-it notes). I write an activity on those papers and adhere them to a tag. This gives me a lot of flexibility. If the night that we planned to take a stroll to view holiday lights ends up raining, I can just switch it for a different day.
I hope this gives you some ideas for creating an Advent Calendar for you and your family!