Annual Calendar Post, 2018 Calendar Edition!

I told Paul this morning that TODAY WAS THE DAY for the calendar post. I went on at some length about how fun it was to do, and why. I wonder if he’s coming down with something, because his eyes had an odd glazed quality.

My only Really Very Important Requirements for a wall calendar is that it have squares to write things in, and good pictures. There are many gorgeous wall calendars that have no room to write appointments (like these—oh I love them), and there are many calendars with tons of writing room that have mediocre pictures (or NO pictures); neither of those will do. Squares to write things. Good pictures.

One thing I’ve noticed over the years we’ve been doing this is that there are many, MANY calendars I love but don’t want for a whole year. I’ll see one of, say, alpacas, and think, “Oh, ALPACAS! I like alpacas!” But—twelve whole months of alpacas? Hm. What I would probably love best of all would be a calendar that was completely different all twelve pages: one French artwork, one ballerina pig, one cool treehouse, one weird chicken, one pop-art, one serene landscape, one modern art, one songbird, and so on. Anyway! We must at least narrow it down!

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Succulents calendar. I have been seeing this theme everywhere, including for CUPCAKES, and I am all in.


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Secret Garden calendar. Peaceful. Pretty. Nicer than the view outside my own window, where we took out a bunch of old shrubs and haven’t put anything else in yet.


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National Parks calendar. This is put out by the National Park Foundation, so I would like to support this concept. (Here’s another gorgeous one, if you don’t need room to write.) I’m afraid, though, that it would make me angry every month, to see these amazing parks that have been preserved so long and are now in jeopardy.


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Every Day’s a Holiday calendar. This breaks the rules I JUST FINISHED mentioning: some of the squares have stuff in them, and there’s no main picture. But this is the kind the kids sometimes want.


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Unlikely Friendships calendar. This is the kind of pure I have been CRAVING this whole past year. Sometimes after another day of baffling news alerts, I just need to see a dog hanging out with a pygmy owl.


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Berkley Bestiary Animal Portrait calendar. Or a guinea pig dressed for a barbershop quartet.


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Cow Yoga calendar. Or cows doing yoga.


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For the Love of Color calendar. No good pictures, but I do love this whole concept of colored squares, and there’s extra room to write. This won’t make my finalist list, but I could see it being perfect for someone else.


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Farmer’s Market calendar. I had this one a few years ago, and I highly recommend it. Wholesome, soothing, pretty. I liked it so much, Paul tracked down the artist and bought me two large prints, which I have in the kitchen and still like year after year.


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Chihuly calendar. Blown glass sculptures. Art persists.


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Posters for Peace and Justice calendar. I like the concept, but I don’t like enough of the pages.


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Marijuana calendar. Whatever it takes to get through the year. And it comes with a free marijuana-themed key ring, which could double as a festive Christmas ornament.


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Kilty Pleasures calendar. Like I said: whatever it takes to get through the year.


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William Morris calendar. This reminds me pleasantly of the wallpaper-themed calendars I’ve had in the past. (The children feel there is nothing blander than appreciating wallpaper, but just wait until they are old enough to care about choosing a shade of white paint.)


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Stitch the Stars calendar. This is so cool: it comes with glow-in-the-dark thread, and you stitch along each constellation. But it does not have squares for writing down appointments.


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Daily Dress calendar. Breaks both requirements but I love it anyway; it reminds me of the Love of Color calendar, in that there is no main picture but it is still beautiful to look at. I wonder if I could have something like this by my desk. I hardly ever write anything on that one. Hardly ever. And I could use post-its or something.


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Shoebox Faux-spirational calendar. I vastly prefer fauxpirational messages to inspirational ones, but I don’t think I’d find each joke funny for a whole month. Like, I smiled at “You Can’t Run From Your Problems — Unless Your Problem Is Slugs,” but would I smile for 30 days in a row?


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It’s Just Not Your Day calendar. I like this one better. Prettier, for one thing. Sample page: “Swearing Might Help” in fancy writing.


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Oh, and those remind me of the Mary Engeldark calendar brought to my attention by Doing My Best. You are familiar with Mary Engelbreit, she of the “Life is but a chair of bowlies” and similar cheerful colorful sentiments? This is instead: “When life shuts a door, open it again. It’s a door. That’s how it works” and “People hate the truth. Luckily, the truth doesn’t care.” Nice. This one is a strong candidate this year.


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Space Cats calendar. This calendar isn’t even trying to make sense, and I think my kids would love it.


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Sloths calendar. Another candidate for the kids.


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Fat Cats calendar. Elizabeth had this one last year and loved it. I thought it looked kind of low-budget, but she liked it enough to mention maybe getting it again this year.


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Cats in Sweaters calendar. Another popular choice here.


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Paper Source Art Calendar. Ooh. Ooh ooh ooh. This has the LOOK of the calendars I often pine for, the kind that don’t have squares to write in—but it DOES HAVE SQUARES. This is a very strong candidate.


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William S. Rice Arts and Crafts calendar. I liked this one a whole lot better than I thought I would after seeing only the cover. Peaceful and pretty. Another strong candidate.


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Passport to the World calendar. Beautiful World Photos calendars never get to first place with me, but I always want to consider them.


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Simple Landscapes calendar. Beautiful. I love it.


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Trees calendar. Peaceful, pretty, soothing in a “The world existed before humans, and will probably continue on after they’re gone, as long as they don’t blow the place up on their way out” kind of way.


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Pusheen the Cat calendar. Highly, highly recommend. This is the calendar that was most enjoyed by the entire family. If I were trying to please them, I would get it every year. But I am not.


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Banksy calendar. This seems like a nice edgy choice. I can picture the college student liking it.


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A Primitive Past calendar. Not quite my own style, but I can see the appeal. Style-adjacent.


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Art Deco fairytales calendar. Style-adjacent.


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Sea Food calendar. I don’t know if it’s the same artist, but we had some books that looked like this long ago, and a matching calendar for one of the kids’ rooms. Cute and fun. Maybe just a little creepy in a cute/fun way.


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Pizza calendar. I appreciate the concept, without wanting to try to write on the top half of a calendar. Also, I already think about pizza too much.


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Hello Kitty calendar. Elizabeth has, sadly for me, outgrown Hello Kitty, which makes it less tempting to buy; it was more fun when she and I BOTH liked Hello Kitty.


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Pokémon calendar. The fad is finally dying down at my house, but it still has appeal.


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Masha D’yans calendar. I consider this one seriously every year; this year it looks particularly pretty to me.


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This Is Us calendar. Oh my gosh! I have recently started watching this! I will say four things about it. (1) I really like this show and all the characters. (2) There is WAY too much “grabbing people and swinging them around and tickling them.” (3) Also too much dramatic monologuing. (4) But I still really, really like it. I don’t want a calendar of it, though.


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Hamilton calendar. I hear this was a pretty good show too.


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DK Ultimate Train calendar. This made me feel a little sentimental: we had a set of DK books that I read about a million times to Rob (to the other kids, too, but Rob was the one who was obsessed with them).


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Bob Ross calendar. Oh, wow, speaking of sentimental. We’ve watched some of his shows with the kids, who always groan when we put an episode on, and then soon after are quiet and mesmerized. I sit there with tears seeping slowly at how kind and gentle he is. And look at the additional images for the calendar: there’s a Bob Ross face at the top of each page, and a Bob Ross quote at the bottom of each one! “You have to have dark in order to show light, just like in life.” *throat clenches*


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Art of the Heart calendar. I am more willing than during previous administrations to lean toward even somewhat-trite images representing love and acceptance, but I don’t like enough of the pages in this one this year. TWO are of, like, real hearts.


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Guinea Pigs calendar. I had one of these guinea pig calendars a couple of years ago and it was one of my most successful. Twelve whole months of guinea pigs might not have been sufficient guinea pigs.


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BTS calendar. All I know is that this group keeps coming up in my Twitter feed.


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Paint-by-Sticker calendar. I don’t THINK I want to do this in calendar form, even though I’ve really enjoyed the books. But maybe.


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Cats in Color calendar. I had this one next to my desk this year, and can recommend it. Nice bold appealing pictures.


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Women in Science calendar. I found this when searching to see if there was a calendar for art by women. There was not, but there was the calendar version of a book that’s on my wish list.



As always, I would love to hear about your calendar choices, if you still use paper calendars. I am pretty sure I’m going for Masha D’yans for the kitchen, and Bob Ross for next to my desk.

35 thoughts on “Annual Calendar Post, 2018 Calendar Edition!

  1. ccr in MA

    I am a big fan of the Sandra Boynton calendars; I got both the Zesty Year wall calendar, and the page-a-day calendar this year, and plan to get them again next year. The Boston Bruins calendar is a great one for the specific fan group (to which I belong). And my mother and I have a thing where we’re exchanging a pair of old calendars with kittens on them every Christmas, kind of odd but it amuses both of us.

    Thanks for mentioning the guinea pig one, it’s a perfect gift for a friend!

  2. Rayne of Terror

    I struggled between the Doug the Pug and the Dogs Underwater calendar for my 12 year old, but went with Dogs Underwater.

  3. Tracy

    Great list! The quote on the front of the Kilty Pleasures one nearly had my keyboard soaked with coffee. We have a wipe-board calendar on the inside of the pantry door, but primarily use a google calendar to keep track of All. Of. The. Stuff. Even a large-squared write-on calendar wouldn’t be enough space for the daily grind.

    But, my daughters each love to have a calendar hung in their rooms. One daughter has had a hedgehog calendar about 4 straight years now. This one is wrapped for Christmas:

    Other daughter has had Peanuts, Grumpy cat, and other random options. Next year, it’s pandas:

    I agree about the commitment to 12 months of one type of picture being a tad long. We enjoy ourselves some Bob Ross here as well, but not sure about a calendar all year. I did purchase a Bob Ross Pop figure (like a fake bobblehead) for the man-child of the house though!

  4. Jenny

    I love and highly recommend the Reading Woman wall calendar. Gorgeous pictures of women, at their leisure, reading books. It’s inspirational! Space to write, too!

    I love your choices and all the variety. This is always such a fun post.

  5. Nowheymama

    My mom gave us the Every Day’s a Holiday Calendar last year and the kids love it. Love. It. Yes, it gets a little annoying to hear about each and every day sometimes, but we had fun with it, learned a little about different things, tried foods on their specific day (ie. Tapioca Pudding Day). Overall it was fun and I’ll probably order one for this year.

  6. M.Amanda

    I always want something fancy because I do love pretty pictures and cute animals. Alas, for the last three years I have defaulted to Amy Knapp’s Big Grid. I love that it goes from August through December of the next year, which makes it very handy for noting an entire school year of events rather than half in August and the next half in January. And it’s big, so there is plenty of room for multiple items per day. There are also quotes and reminders like “Check your furnace filter,” and “Start planning Halloween costumes,” though I rarely pay attention to those.

  7. Maggie

    I love this post so much, so many great options! I don’t use a calendar at home anymore and usually just have a small one with cute cats at work, but if I needed a full size one I’d have such a difficult time selecting from these suggestions!!

  8. Surely

    I look forward to this post every year!

    My mind is reeling from the choices this year. I fear I may have a calendar in all.the.rooms. :)

  9. Jenny

    Not calendar-relevant, but calendar-adjacent: Hamilton is AWESOME, possibly life-changing, and highly highly recommended. Maybe save it for when you are looking for a new interest, because for me it quickly became distracting and sent me down many an Internet rabbit hole.

  10. Matti

    Mary Engeldark! Just. Right.
    Though I loved the Kay Nielson fairy tale illustrations, I was worried my 4 yr old would object to it as being “too scary.”

  11. Alex

    This is one of my favorite posts every year! Hooray!

    From your list, the two you mentioned probably getting were my two favorites, plus I love the Art of the Heart and the Simple Landscapes. Oh, and the Willaim Morris.

    Our calendars this year are:

    In my office:

    In the kitchen (last year this one was in my office):

    Still on the hunt for my husband’s office. Bob Ross seemed a slam dunk, but it’s currently out of stock on Amazon.

  12. Blythe

    I pink puffy heart the PaperSource calendar. I didn’t get one this year and I was so glad when December rolled around because it means I have an excuse to switch back. I sometimes feel guilty that it’s fairly expensive but now that I’ve been without it for a year, I know it is worth the money.

  13. rlbelle

    Yay! I just bought a half-off calendar for my daughter’s room, and was looking at the others trying to decide on one (or two) for me when I thought, “Oooh, wait unti Swistle’s calendar post.” And here it is.

    1. rlbelle

      Will add my calendar choices: The calendar I got for my daughter was of baby animals. Only after I bought it, swayed by the 50 percent off, did I remember that last year I bought her one through an actual wildlife federation or conservation society. Wish I’d remembered to do that this year.

      I buy an At-a-Glance calendar, vertical, with every month laid out on a single poster-sized sheet for my (home-)office wall. I’ve been using one of these for work-related deadlines for years. I am currently without work, but I’ve become so used to being able to glance at a single calendar and see far into the future that I still have to have one, I think.

      I will also be buying the Thomas Kinkade/Disney mashup calendar (not its official name), if I don’t get it for Christmas, which I’d better, because I put it at the top of my list. Ahem. This is my third year getting this calendar, and about half the images are repeats, but I can’t help it. There’s always one or two new images that I just need to see in full calendar size.

      I’m also looking for one more large one, or maybe a couple of mini calendars, for resolution/self-improvement type projects where I’m looking to track progress with check marks/notes. (e.g., a calendar beside my bed where I can jot down when I went to sleep every night, to try to develop a consistent bedtime).

  14. Nancy

    I love the Simple Landscapes one a lot. If I hadn’t already purchased two calendars for my desk at work, both of which are purely for decorative purposes rather than for actually writing down appointments, I’d probably get that one.

    This year I had the Metropolitan Museum of Art Page a day calendar and I loved it so much I’m getting another one for next year:

    I also got a Japanese woodblocks wall calendar, so it’ll be all about art around here next year. I’ve been looking at Japanese woodblock calendars for a couple years now so I’m happy to have finally chosen one

  15. Shawna

    I spend hours making elaborate family calendars – I narrow down my photos from the previous year to my favourite 400-800, then import them into Apple Photos, then laboriously pick photos to process and place in various layouts. And I have to make different versions for each parent, and my grandmother, and us, because we all have different photo requirements (I want lots of my dog in the mix, my parents don’t want each other since they’re no longer together, my grandmother and mother don’t want pics of themselves, but want pics of each other, etc.) I LOVE the results, but can’t bring myself to write on them after all the effort I expend.

    But now I kind of want to produce a commercial calendar called “The world existed before humans, and will probably continue on after they’re gone, as long as they don’t blow the place up on their way out”.

    1. melissa

      Shawna, we are calendar twins. I make one for my FIL with him and the kids. I make one for my dad’s entire side of the family because we see them about once a month. (It is my mass produced gift for every aunt/grown cousin). I make one for my parents that is my kid centric. I make one for us that has both sides of the family. I make one for my brother that is just him and my kids with a smattering of my parents and me and my husband. Everyone has a flattering picture of themselves on their birthday. I have the specific family birthdays that matter to each side of the family.

      I take about 10k pics a year. It is a ridiculous labor of love. this is my 11th year doing this. Every year, I say “I think I’m going to stop this year” Every year, I’m dredging up coupon codes and pouring over pictures, etc.

    1. SIL Anna

      The robot calendar doesn’t have space to write things, which I probably should have noted. It’s basically just cool pictures.

  16. Stimey

    It is remarkable that you are able to find calendars to fit weirdly specific fixations that my kids have. Fat cats, for example.

    You are a wonder.

  17. Chris

    I was going to comment GET THE BOB ROSS and then I saw YOU ARE! Yay! Best choice. My husband and I grew up watching him and we will still put an episode on from time to time. He is SO kind and contemplative. I always feel happier when I watch him paint his happy little trees.

  18. Allison

    I got my dad and brother the Atlas Obscura wall calendar. I don’t think it has very good squares for writing things but neither of them really do that. The pictures have a cool retro look about them that I liked a lot.
    I love calendars! I always alternate between Susan Branch and Mary Engelbreit in my kitchen. I wonder if the Mary Engeldark one would be “too much” in my 7th grade classroom.

  19. Portia

    I love this post!

    I went a little calendar-crazy on Cyber Monday (calendars dot com had a huge sale). So I purchased the following calendars:
    -a Misty Copeland calendar for my stepmom (because she and I both love ballet and Misty Copeland. And I liked the idea of a calendar of the first African-American principal ABT dancer hanging in their Trump-voting house).
    -a football calendar for my dad.
    -this one for my kitchen, because I usually like the Lang calendars and this one was particularly pretty:
    -this one for my work, because I love Impressionist art, especially the flower paintings:

    But then today my fiance informed me (because he can never keep his gifts for me a secret) that he bought me a Monet calendar, so I’ll have to put that one in the kitchen so he doesn’t know about the calendar glut, and put the Lang one…I dunno.Apparently I have a calendar problem.

  20. Melanie

    I am surprised by how much I look forward to this post!

    I have purchased the Hamilton calendar for my older daughter. She is 12 and OBSESSED.
    I had originally purchased this meme calendar but I made the rookie mistake of not examining it thoroughly and it had a little bit of inappropriate humor. Honestly I’m fine with it in the family room, but not her bedroom if that makes sense.

    For the little, run of the mill Disney Princesses. She is 4 and also OBSESSED.

  21. Kate

    I got the Simple Landscapes one and it is GORGEOUS. Absolutely beautiful. It already makes me so happy and I haven’t even hung it yet!

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