"Experiences" rather than "things" for countdown to Christmas. This might also make great presents - instead of more toys, you get to have "experiences" with people - 'Go to a movie with mom', 'Have a picnic with dad'. Good ideas for kid/parent dates. And perhaps for summer vacation as well. This could be adapted for lots of things.
Calm Down Jar. It is really easy to make. The goal is that when they are feeling out of control, they shake the jar, then sit and watch the glitter settle in the water. When the glitter settles, they can get up. This one is a really great technique to use in lieu of timeout.