"Elf on the Shelf" alternative - the "Wandering Wisemen." Move the Wisemen around the house as they search for Jesus. The kids have fun finding them all over the house. They Wisemen can face obstacles, maybe stop for food and drinks etc until Christmas morning when they arrive at the Nativity. (This idea is actually kind of cute!)
ONLY THE BEST PARENTS EVER WOULD DO THIS!!!! New Tradition?? Start bedtime routine as usual, while one parent makes bags of popcorn and hot cocoa and places them in the car, don't forget to have Christmas music to play! When the kids climb into bed, they will find a ticket hidden. The kids are instructed to grab their slippers and head for the car. Upon entrance to The SUV Express, you hole punch the ticket, and travel around the city looking at all the beautiful lights.
What to write inside a card... sentiments I can never think of on the spot.