Photo illustration by Carly Cowen.

Photo illustration by Carly Cowen.

Valentine’s Day is coming up fast, and it’s too late to order something online without outrageous expedited shipping costs. What can you do? You simply must find something for your special someone before the big day, and it needs to be something to show you care (even though you are a procrastinating, busy college student). Here are a few ideas that are sure to be successes, categorized by type of gift:

Classic

What gifts immediately pop into your mind as the classic Valentine’s gifts? Chocolate in those heart-shaped boxes and red roses, right? Maybe a teddy bear with some heart candy also springs to mind. The fact is, for many girls, although it is perhaps slightly cliché, these gifts still make us happy. Like the little black dress, these gifts are classic. Just make sure your special someone isn’t allergic to chocolate. That would be bad.

Romantic

Perhaps one of the most romantic things a guy can do for a girl (on a budget) is make a homemade dinner, get some wine or champagne and set the mood with some candles (and maybe even a flower). For brownie points, pop in a mushy post-dinner chick flick and snuggle.  Girls, you can do a similar thing: make his favorite food, buy some good beer or other drink of choice (Jack Daniels perhaps?) and rent a movie that he would like to see.

Creative

If you really don’t want to spend money, or you don’t have a car to go buy the previously suggested items, you might want to get crafty.  A good present for anyone to make, even with limited art skills, is a coupon book filled with things you promise to do.  For example, you could make one for giving them a hug, a back massage, a kiss or a foot massage or one for doing their laundry or dishes.  You could even make one that says you will pay for a night out (when you have money). It’s cute and you can customize it however you want.  Other handmade stuff is great, too — a card, a decorated picture frame or even a romantic poem.

Eclectic/Naughty

Make Valentine’s Day night extra spicy with a few naughty purchases.  At the risk of going all Cosmo Magazine on you, one idea could be to write a note about everything you want to do later, and hit up your favorite store with some “toys” to kick it up a notch.  Girls, you could buy a sexy outfit for late night festivities.  What occasion is better to try those things you’ve always secretly wanted to do with your beau?

Thoughtful

An idea that is customizable to every person’s preferences is a “survival kit” or gift basket of little items. You could get her favorite kind of flower, chocolate and wine to put a twist on the classic Valentine’s gifts.  Or you can organize it by theme — movies with popcorn and favorite candies, or pick some of their favorite drinks and junk foods in their favorite color. If they are sick, you could put a fuzzy stuffed animal, tea, chicken noodle soup, chapstick and Kleenex in the basket. The list goes on and on. You can even put little explanatory sticky notes on the different items. No matter what you decide to include, it shows that you care because you thought about them when you were putting the gift together.

Finally, I want to emphasize that all of these ideas can most definitely be used in combination.  A little bit of naughty with a little bit of creative or thoughtful would be an excellent idea, as would the classic with any of the other aforementioned suggestions.  Anything works as long as you have your valentine in mind and you put yourself in their shoes to come up with a truly memorable gift. Good luck and happy Valentine’s Day!