There are tons of different sorts of advent calendars out there. I grew up with a felt one my mom made where each day you would put an ornament on the tree. My brother and I both loved this one (in fact we now do it over Skype since neither of us live at home anymore) and oddly enough I don’t think either of us ever missed the chocolate ones.
This year however, in addition to my fabric tree (I’ve since made one for myself), I have a tea advent calendar!
Sure beats a tiny chocolate.