Creative Gift Ideas for My Boyfriend's Birthday

I just remembered that my boyfriend of 3 years is turning 20 next Sunday (October 12). I feel really bad for forgetting! I never do that. I've just been so busy. I don't want him to know I forgot. The problem is I am a broke college girl. I'm in art school and I'm naturally creative. I usually think of quirky ideas for gifts, but after 3 years with someone, my ideas are running dry!

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He attends Ohio State University, but he's not too into sports or cars. He's a theatre major and just as quirky as me. Here are some things I've already done: his favorite gift was for valentines 2 years ago, I made him fortune cookies and put love notes in each one. I also tracked down his favorite childhood book, "Where The Wild Things Are". Last Christmas I made him a robe (I'm a fashion design student). Last year for his birthday I gave him a dorm survival kit and I made him a birthday apple pie, candles and all.

Once I designed a mug with our picture on it and had it made. I've done a lot of cute little unique things. What makes it worse is he spent quite a bit of money on me for my birthday 3 months ago. The Lion King musical came to town so he bought us tickets to see it ($50 a piece). And I couldn't afford an ipod, so he bought me a used one on ebay. Any ideas would be appreciated!

Gretchen from Columbus, OH

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In my local paper a mother gave her daughters boyfriend a bunch of scratch lottery tickets. Darn if one of them was a millon dollar winner. Collects $50,000 for 20 years. He is 20.

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I've used packets of coupons quite often for thrifty but very thoughtful and useful gifts: 1 coupon could be good for a hand car wash, another one for a back massage, another for a picnic in the park, etc. You can be really creative with these, typing them on the computer and put in a fun tin or wrapped in a pretty box.

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What about a special day together? Pack a picknic and go to Hocking Hills for the day - it's not far (I live in cincinnati & go a couple times a year) If you can afford two days off schoolwork, camp for one night. I don't know about your guy, but mine is always thrilled with this sort of thing. If you ask around, you can probably borrow everything you need.

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How about a framed picture of the 2 of you?

Some - really good condition - 2nd hand books (I buy the newest paperbacks in great condition at the library for 50 cents each).

Make a CD of your favorite songs.

A scrapped book of photos of the two of you together. Leave room for the collection to grow.

A romantic dinner.

Homemade fudge or chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes or a cake.

Hand paint a T-shirt.

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The coupon book idea is a GREAT old standby, but, why not put your own spin on it by drawing the subject and writing the coupon on it? For example draw a car and write a free car wash coupon on the car or draw someone laying on the stomach with a towel draped over their lower half and write a coupon for a free back rub on their upper back.

If you can get in contact with his Mom and ask her what his favorite meal was as a child and then you could prepare it for him, or find out the name and phone number of his best friend in High School and give him a prepaid calling card with the phone number in it. Make sure to contact his friend in advance so that you know when they will be at home or get a cell phone number. Hope that this helps. Whatever you give to him your thoughtfulness and caring will be the greatest gift of all. Shari

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My friend is so nice and his birthday is coming up. We both secretly like each other and I want to get him something nice. He is turning 16.

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