This year, I'm going to leave the baby Jesus out of the nativity scene until Christmas morning. I've heard of a few people dong that and I like that idea, plus it's a nice segue into the real meaning of Christmas.
I purchased this last year at one of my favorite stores, Downeast Home, that carries scratch-and-dent Pottery Barn, Red Envelope and Restoration Hardware goods. Originally, it had someone else's name painted on it, so I matched the paint, made my very own stencil (I'm getting practice before I tackle Gabby's room) and personalized it. Starting December first, we'll put little treats behind each door. On Christmas morning, I'll have the baby Jesus from our nativity set behind the 25th door so we can put him in his manger and talk about his birth--my only fear is that the kids will get disappointed that there wasn't any candy behind the biggest door of our advent calendar.
Another thing I bought at Downeast Home last year were these Pottery Barn stockings (I actually found two with the right names embroidered on them, while the other two have the wrong names--I'll pick the stitching out and re-embroider the correct names--although I do think it's funny when people ask me who Tom and Austin are).
We don't have a fireplace in our new house so I came up with this alternative of hanging them on the banister, which I find to be quite charming, especially with the garland. I just used ribbon to tie up the stockings so I didn't have to nail into the wood.