When I was a child, we always had an Advent wreath as part of our Christmas tradition, and that’s probably a big reason why I love the lighting of Advent candles once Advent begins. My mother would make a wreath out of greens, and we would put in taper Advent candles like these here: http://www.yonderstar.com/adventcandles.html We also had a small book of Advent prayers that we would read when dinner was finished. Typically, whoever finished eating first would read the prayers while the rest of us continued eating. That routine seemed to work well enough.
Now, my family continues the tradition of lighting Advent candles each night of Advent.