November 24, 2005


Wall and pocket calendars: Dilbert—Now If You’ll Excuse Me, I Feel a Nap Coming On; Anne Geddes Collectors Edition Mini; “Purse”onalized. Andrews McMeel. $13.99 (Dilbert); $7.99 each (Geddes; “Purse”onalized).

Desk/engagement calendar: Mary Engelbreit’s The Art of Friendship.  Andrews McMeel. $12.99.

Day-to-day calendars: Family First; Chocolate Mini.  Andrews McMeel. $11.99 (Family); $7.99 (Chocolate).

     If you haven’t gotten calendars for 2006 yet, it’s high time to do so – not only for yourself but also as gifts (a calendar is one thing you know the recipient will be able to use!).  Because people have so many different tastes and interests, Andrews McMeel has taken to making its pop-culture calendars in a wide variety of shapes and sizes – so you really can find something for just about anyone.

     Take wall calendars as an example.  The days when they were dull and similar are long gone.  What cubicle dweller would not appreciate the latest 12-month full-color rendition of the antics of Dilbert, Dogbert, Catbert, Wally, Alice, the Pointy-Haired Boss and other denizens of Dilworld (resemblance to Earth not coincidental)?  Each month features six panels of corporate misadventures, a large blowup of one particular panel, and a full-color character at the bottom – plus date boxes with plenty of writing room.  If your cubicle isn’t big enough for this calendar, you could get the smaller Dilbert version – or try something entirely different, such as the latest Anne Geddes mini wall calendar.  This one is totally non-corporate, featuring Geddes’ trademark photos of perfect tiny babies curled up in flowers, sleeping atop mushrooms or looking like little angels (as all babies do when they sleep).  For a still smaller size, plus portability, try a pocket-or-purse calendar, such as the clever one called “Purse”onalized: it has a slot on the front into which you can place your own photo or one of the included personalizations – 26 letters and the 12 symbols of the zodiac.  The calendar’s purple color is a real standout, too.

     If you prefer a book-style calendar that stays on your desk – a non-electronic way to keep track of daily appointments and phone calls – you have plenty of choices here as well.  The Mary Engelbreit calendars are favorites year after year, and this year’s “The Art of Friendship” should continue the trend.  Here, Engelbreit’s usual sentimental drawings of girl and boy pals are combined on prettily colored pages with quotations about friendship (“A friend can tell you things you don’t want to tell yourself”); a space to write a “to do” list; and a week’s worth of dates on each right-hand page – with enough room to jot down a few appointments, phone calls and the like.  Engelbreit fans will enjoy it all year.

     If you are looking for a calendar gift and unsure what format a recipient wants, day-to-day calendars are a good choice – especially if you know the person’s special interests.  Family First, for example, showcases daily recommendations by Dr. Phil McGraw and is named for his most recent book.  “Reinforce your family’s values,” Dr. Phil says; and “Positive experiences lift children up to help them see all kinds of possibilities for themselves.”  If your family, or a friend’s, is strengthened through thoughts like these, you’ll find a year of them here.  But if you’re really not sure what to get, there’s always chocolate.  It’s hard to go wrong with a miniature, chocolate-colored daily calendar packed with facts and quotations about almost everyone’s favorite indulgence: “There’s nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate.”  Warning: don’t eat the calendar pages…however tempting they look.  Here’s to a sweet 2006!

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