I'll sure they were gorgeous!............Peppermint lollipop decor - I made some of these last year except I made the huge ones and placed them out in the front yard. These are probably much easier to make.Super cute!
"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!)