Your Guide to Calendar Squares

We had short notice for my husband’s first deployment. He was sent as a “rider” on a submarine with a different homeport. All the deployment arts and crafts were already done in the preceding months by the families usually assigned to that sub. Fortunately, one of the amazing spouses across the country gave me some of her calendar squares. I didn’t really know what that meant at the time, but she asked me to send some pictures and she printed them for me. Through e-mails I got to hear about the funny and enjoyable calendar squares, spouses who sent embarrassing pictures, and other fun details.

I was much more prepared for subsequent deployments, now with a better understanding of calendar squares.

In the crews’ mess, or dining room, thereis a big calendar displayed with squares for each date during deployment. The squares are decorated by spouses and family members, usually with fun photos and colorful artwork. This is often done as an FRG fundraiser, so you can “buy” dates to reserve spots on the calendar for a small amount of money (learn more about the FRG, here). There is usually some sort of lottery or auction for special dates like holidays.

The calendar squares might vary in size, but the last one I did was a 4×4 inch square. To maximize the space, I used 12×12 inch scrapbook paper, cut into a plus shape (+) and filled them with pictures and notes. On the outside I put the calendar date and my husband’s name. Birthdays, anniversaries, and other meaningful dates are always good to grab.  Calendar squares are such a fun, tangible way to help spread joy and contribute to your spouse’s deployment.

Here’s a couple of my more creative efforts for 311 day and May the 4th:

Have you done any calendar squares? Do you have any tips or fun ideas you’ve seen done by others? Share below!

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