Here is our family's Advent Calendar. I made another last year for the family of one of our Goddaughters, Anika. The pattern, which I changed a bit, is from Quiltmaker #58, November/December 1997. The inverted triangles under the buttons are little fabric pockets, where the buttons hide until it's time each night to pull one out--the kids have been faithful and attentive to that part!
The hardest part about making this is collecting the buttons! I am a little picky about having to have a star at the top, so not just any buttons will do. Plastic buttons are easier to come by, and less expensive, but you have to pick out the nice ones, like some from Mary Englebreit. Ceramic buttons are nicer, but are harder to come by; good ones are expensive! In the photo you can see the very first ceramic gingerbread boy who started my collection in '97; I found him at The Country Peddler, a fine quilt store that sadly, is no longer around. I just checked my button collection recently, and have enough to make another, but I would have to choose for whom I would make it.