One year when my sister and I were little girls, my mom made us homemade Advent calendars. She worked hard cross stitching and sewing these so that we would have them for each Christmas.
After Halloween each year we have an elf named Peek that comes to live in our clock. He would keep track to see if Crystal and I were being good little girls and report back to Santa. On Nov 30 he would fill our Advent calendars, and the countdown to Christmas would be on!
Each day we get to open a bag. Some days there is a little gift to open, other days there may be a chocolate, and sometimes an alphabet letter. When you get a letter, you have to keep it in a safe place and on December 24th you have to try to figure out what the word is- I was never a fan of these ones, I could never figure it out...
On December 24th we would write a letter to Peek and Santa. When Santa delivered presents on Christmas Eve (because we were always good kids) Peek would travel back to the North Pole with Santa until next year.
This tradition has stayed with us over the years. Peek now travels between Edmonton and St Joe to visit us girls. He has even went hi-tech using email to send us letters.