To make ours I used leftover wedding favor bags, number stamps and some twine. If you don't have mini canvas bags on hand you could use envelopes, baggies, little boxes, etc. One day we'll have a cute little house with a fireplace-- or more than four walls-- and maybe we'll string our advent across it then. For now the back of our front door does the trick!
In each bag is a slip of paper with that day's activity and a piece or two of candy. Another good thing about making this ahead of time is that you quickly forget what activities you've assigned and it becomes a daily surprise!
Here's how we'll be celebrating this year:
Day 1: Write letters to the troops
Day 2: Watch "A Christmas Story" *
Day 3: Make peppermint hot chocolate
Day 4: Go to the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
Day 5: Make popcorn + cranberry garland (Gilmore Girls, anyone?)
Day 6: Go to the Alexandria Boat Parade and festivities
Day 7: Watch "It's a Wonderful Life" *
Day 8: Decorate gingerbread houses
Day 9: Read favorite children's Christmas stories
Day 10: Make and serve dinner at an ACS Hope Lodge
Day 11: Have a Family Game Night
Day 12: Drive around and look at Christmas lights
Day 13: Go ice skating
Day 14: Decorate the Christmas tree
Day 16: Have a treat-making party
Day 17: Go see the Festival of Lights
Day 18: Deliver treats to friends + neighbors
Day 19: Make a special Christmas dinner
Day 20: Watch "Elf" *
Day 21: Write a letter to grandparents
Day 22: Go out for appetizers (and leave a big tip)
Day 23: Make dog/reindeer treats
Day 24: Read the Christmas story
*How can I choose just a few Christmas movies?! Other contenders were Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, The Grinch, A Christmas Carol, and Charlie Brown Christmas. And a couple others.
Last year I made a note to myself to schedule more of the bigger events at the beginning of the month because they become harder to fit in later in the month. That being said I try to keep everything relatively simple and easy, with the exception of a few bigger activities, so that we can follow through each day. And I keep a list separate of the advent in case I need to check back on details.