Growing up, we used the same advent calendar every year. It was hand-made by my grandmother (I think from a kit) in the early 1970's. I loved that thing and always looked forward to hanging it up - not just because it meant Christmas was near (though, I'll admit, that was part of it) but because I just loved the thing itself. Each pocket had a special ornament to hang on the tree and my sister and I would switch off days. You never knew what you would get, but you always hoped for something good (and if you were feeling especially naughty, you'd look ahead, count it out, and swap a dud for a gem in your next pocket). I was a particular fan of the mitten and the snowman.
I knew I wanted to continue the advent calendar tradition when I started my own family, and one of the first projects I started when I found out I was pregnant with little R was my own replica of this family heirloom. It was a BIG project and took me a full year to finish, but I finally got it done just in time for Christmas last year. After finishing such a large project I knew I could motivate to tackle other unfinished crafts, and perhaps even follow through on new ones. . . The fact that I made it through to November before a major funk set in is actually pretty miraculous. As the new year approaches, I am ready to start again.