Giving a Michigan bed and breakfast gift certificate? How to make it more surprising, clever, and fun

More people these days want experiences, not things, which is why several people on my list are getting a Michigan bed and breakfast gift certificate this year.

Disguised in a tie box, a bed and breakfast gift certificate
Disguised in a tie box decorated with a questionable tie, he’ll find instead a Michigan bed and breakfast gift certificate and a sweet note about a romantic getaway I’ve planned. Tons more fun than a tie.

It’s so easy to do — just fill out a form or make a call (888-575-1610)— but I do want to put some creative thought into presenting my gifts. Even a touch of my own quirky humor. When you give a gift certificate, don’t you want it to be memorable?

Handing over an envelope can seem so impersonal. I want my recipients to know that I picked out a #MichBnB gift certificate for them because I want them to have more adventure in their lives, or more romance, or more relaxation. That’s why opening my gift will be their first step on the way to having fun.

How to package a bed and breakfast gift certificate

Construction-themed eating utensils for baby.
More fun to open: Clever eating utensils for baby, manufactured in Ann Arbor, will be packaged with the B&B gift certificate for the expectant couple.

A couple of Millennials we know are expecting their first child in mid-June. We’re throwing in with several friends to get the expectant parents a bed and breakfast gift certificate so they can have a getaway before the baby comes. Babymoons, usually taken in the third trimester, have become so popular that many Michigan B&Bs cater to the needs and whims of expectant moms and dads, like these found in a search for “babymoons.”

When I give a bed and breakfast gift certificate, or any other kind of gift card, I usually add a lagniappe, a French word (pronounced “lan YAP”) that means “a little something extra.” It’s a way of personalizing the gift and amping up the thoughtfulness.

When they open the package, they’ll see a gift for the baby — something to ooh and ahh over — and then taped behind it, they’ll find the real surprise: their ticket to a romantic getaway.

They aren’t required to use it before the baby comes either because — did you know this? — by state law, a gift certificate purchased in Michigan cannot expire for five years. And they’ll have so many options for using their bed and breakfast gift certificate almost anywhere they want to go in Michigan. Go ahead, pick a city.

If you dare, have a little fun at the recipient’s expense

Do you see that package up above festooned with the hideous tie? I’m going to stick that on the Christmas tree a few days before we open presents.

He’ll be praying that the tie inside is decent. He’ll be practicing his “grateful” face.

A packaged apron with an image of a dog with goggles and skis
When you look at this apron from the right perspective, it practically screams, “Let’s take a winter B&B getaway.”

But there’s no tie inside, just the gift certificate, and I know he’ll enjoy telling friends about the tie he didn’t get for Christmas.

How about you? Does the woman in your life have a sense of humor? The woman who’s getting the Michigan B&B Association gift certificate that will solve your gift-giving dilemma?

If so, I have a spare idea for you: In a gorgeously wrapped package, hide the gift certificate under, say, an apron like the one in this photo, or some humble kitchen gadget. A box grater will do nicely. I don’t recommend choosing a chef’s knife for this diversionary duty because as soon as she opens the package, her eyes WILL narrow to slits. You WILL get “the look.” And if she’s holding a knife, the photo could be misinterpreted on social media.

But she’ll shriek with laughter when she opens the gift certificate envelope. And you’ll be the darling one who teased and pleased her and, one day soon, will whisk her away for a romantic B&B adventure.

Order your gift certificate now. No time like the present.