Last year, my mother was finally able to do what she had been wanting to do for several years. Give my kids an advent doll. She saw them in a catalog,(I forget which one, Garnet Hill I think) and tried to order one but each year they were sold out. She was finally able to purchase one and then got lucky enough to find a giant rag doll at the thrift shop and made one too. It is very cool and my kids look forward to it each night, especially the little ones. She did a great job making it and it actually hangs in our laundry room year round (since it is too big for my Christmas bins).
I think the only thing I would change is the size of the pockets (my mother agrees) since I have 4 kids and it's difficult to find things small enough that 4 will fit in some of the pockets. Other than that, it's perfect.
One trip to the dollar store for candy and goodies and we were ready for the season. I did decide for a few of the days that I would just put one item in the pocket and the rest would be handed out when the doll pocket was "opened". I was pretty excited about the little figures our Dollar Tree had that were from the Bible. I found Mary, Jesus, Noah, David & Goliath. Perfect for the Christmas season. There are a few days that Rebecca was given something different since the items were not age appropriate for her. It is hard to find something that will appeal to kids from 3 to 16.