I like these ideas for making Advent & Christmas special. I haven't read that Madeleine L'Engle book yet-- hadn't even heard of it, actually-- and she's one of my favorite authors!
Ryan & I have tried to think through traditions to start in our family; we're already getting one ornament a year (I made them the first year we were married out of our cake toppers!). This year I'm making Eowyn a stocking, and then from here on out we'll add a pin or some other decoration each year to it-- Ryan's family did this, and I love looking at all their decorated stockings!
The other tradition we're going to start is that of one gift opened on Christmas Eve (which my family did growing up), but with the added twist of it always being the same type gift for each person each year: new pyjamas and a book. That way they have something to do if they HAVE to wake up super-early on Christmas morning! So I've been on the lookout for a book for Eowyn for THIS Christmas. (I have started to read to her, and she likes the pictures... especially in Brown Bear, Brown Bear What do You See?) I found a set of two I LOVE here in New Orleans! The Beignet that ALMOST Got Away, and a new one by the same authors (Pre-K teachers), Counting Around the Neutral Ground, which follows the same adorable 2 cockroaches down the St. Charles Street Car line, which Enna G & I rode today! Both books are great b/c they're about New Orleans in a fun way. Read a bit about the authors & books here.
When I get home I'll make her the PJs; I already have the pattern! =D
Traditions are great because they help lessen the hype of the holiday, I think, making it simpler & thus easier to maintain a narrower focus: on the Incarnation of God Himself.