Advent means "waiting" or "something good is coming". This is why history professors are always talking about the advent of automation, the advent of industrialism, even the advent of the Stone Age. Mostly, though Advent is about dancing around wondering if you can be good enough, long enough, to get that pony you asked for. (I never asked for a pony. I wanted a horse. No half pint measures for this girl!)
Advent calendars are all over the place - chocolate, small gifts, even money, Babyccino made up a book advent calendar back in 2009 which she updates every year. It's a simple enough concept. Collect as many winter or holiday books as you can, wrap them in paper and number them. Open one each night from December 1st through the 24th.
For suggestions on how to make another Bookish Advent calendar - with a list of book suggestions, visit Delightful Children's Books.
It's not too late to make a partial calendar for the dancers in your family. Whatever you are waiting for this time of year - a baby, a miracle of lights, a fat man in red, snow, a magical star, the dragons of winter - a count down calendar can slow down the dance.
Here is another idea for a countdown calendar.
The Kindness Chain: Cut and decorate strips of colored paper, longer than they are wide. (Say five inches by an 1 1/2 inches.). Make one strip for each day of waiting. On each one write a kind deed; for example, hold the door open for someone; let someone in front of you in line; help someone with a chore; talk to someone you don't know well. You know your family well enough to choose the right acts. Every so often add something fun, for instance, bake cookies; dance to holiday music; make a cotton ball beard.
Make a ring of one strip; slip the next strip inside and make it into a ring. You will end up with a paper chain. Each morning, pull open one strip and read the suggestion for the day.