As it gets closer to Valentine’s Day, your class notes are starting to look more and more like a brainstorm of potential gifts that you can get your Valentine for that special day. You want to be romantic and thoughtful but not too cliché. Stuck? Here are some creative Valentine’s Day gifts that are even sweeter than the box of chocolates he’s probably going to get you.
1. Let him be a model for the day
Can’t afford a professional? Ask around your campus, or look on Craigslist, to see if there are any student photographers who are willing to do it for free or at a discounted price. Ask to see portfolios—you’ll be amazed at how talented some amateur photographers can be.
Make it a fun day, posing at places that hold special memories of your relationship (in his car where you had your first kiss, or the park where you had a picnic for your birthday). It can be as romantic, serious or silly as you want. You can even recreate iconic photos of famous couples, such as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Bonnie and Clyde on the run, John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s nonviolent protest, or Kate Middleton and Prince William’s wedding, to name a few.
2. Get cartoonified
If you like the idea of couples pictures but want something different, how about a caricature of you and your guy? It will be cute to see the two of you in cartoon form. You don’t even have to be present while it is being drawn, just provide the artist with a photo of the two of you (you might have to send more than one) so that he or she can work on it ahead of time.
Search to see if there are any caricature artists in your area. If there aren’t any, many artists are willing to take orders from across the country and even internationally, so check their websites.
3. Put together a special presentation
Tell him how much he means to you in the form of an online presentation (kind of like an online scrapbook). It can include videos (either of the two of you together, or of you speaking to directly him), pictures of good times, your song and special messages filled with memories. When you’ve put it all together, sit him down and present it to him. You can also do this in PowerPoint form or on Prezi.
If you have more time to spend, you can do it in the form of a website. When presenting it to him, simply drop the link on his Facebook wall if you want to make it public, or send it to him privately.
4. Take him on a trip (without actually going anywhere)
His dream vacation might be expensive and far away, so why not bring his desired destination to him? Get creative! If he wants to visit France, set your room up like a little Parisian café and create menus in French! If he’s pining for a day in Puerto Vallarta sun, serve some Mexican food and decorate the place like a Mexican resort. If he wants to stroll through Rome, have some Italian music playing in the background before you pop in a Rome-centric movie (“To Rome With Love,” anyone?). It might not be the real thing, but he’ll appreciate the thought and effort. Plus, there’s nowhere your imagination can’t take you.
5. Arrange a personal scavenger hunt
Send him running around campus or (if you want to make it grander) all over the city! The first clue should lead him to a location, which will have a task and a clue that will lead him to another place with a task and a clue (and so on) until he reaches the final destination. Make the destinations places where you shared good memories, or places that you’ve talked about.
Be as creative as you want with the clues. If your guy likes to solve riddles, spend some time coming up with tricky hints that will get him thinking. If he’s more of a visual person, take a photo of the destination, edit it so that it is blurred or distorted in some way, and send it to his phone.
Ask him to do things that are specific to your relationship. For example, if you met at a school football game, get him to take a photo with one of the players; or if you had a fun date at the local sushi place, get him to bring back a pair of chopsticks from the restaurant. The more personal the tasks, the more fun it will be!
6. Give him a massage
If you’re both up for a quiet night in, he’ll definitely appreciate a nice back rub. Dim the lights, light some candles, put on some relaxing music and put those fingers to work! If you don’t know how to give a massage, thankfully, there’s the “For Dummies” guide. If you want, you can even purchase some nice massage oils from places like The Body Shop to enhance the experience.
And of course, when you’re done, don’t be afraid to ask for one in return!
7. Create a personalized word puzzle
Does he like to solve puzzles? Make him a word puzzle! The Discovery Education site has a free puzzlemaker where you can create word searches, crosswords, letter tiles, cryptograms and more.
If you’re making a crossword, make the clues and answers specific to your relationship:
- “Where were we when we first met?”
- “I got this for you for your birthday last year.”
- “What is my favourite feature of yours?”
- “Which movie did we see three times in theatres?”
8. Make him Valentine’s fortune cookies
Valentine’s fortune cookies (recipe here) can come with your own predictions of your future together (such as: “I see many days of happiness together”), or just insert sweet messages (“Be my Valentine?”). You can even put coupons inside that he can redeem for future dates (“One night we can watch the movie of your choice,” or “A meal at your favorite restaurant, on me.”). There are no rules for the Valentine’s fortune cookie, so do whatever your heart (and whatever you think his heart) desires.