We used the countdown calendar to Christmas that I made last year. Each morning the kids take turns opening a drawer to get a small treat. It could be a small piece of candy, stickers, or a little toy. We started it on December 1st and Rachel was excited to be the first one to open a drawer.
I have to never had all of the drawers filled up at the time that we start it. I may have a week's worth of drawers but then plan on getting other treats later to keep some variety to the surprises. But it is hard finding things that aren't candy but are small enough that I can fit 2 of them in these little drawers. Some days I have to just leave a note in the drawer and give them a clue as to where to go to find their treat.
This morning I hid their prizes in our nativity scene and left a note for Nicholas to think of where Jesus was born.
Next year, I hope to be more prepared and have all the drawers filled at the beginning of December. We'll see if that really happens!