Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Holidays => Topic started by: Adelaide on October 10, 2012, 09:47:07 AM

Title: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #113
Post by: Adelaide on October 10, 2012, 09:47:07 AM
My brother is in the Marines and we thought that he wouldn't be able to come home for Christmas. He called me the other day and said that there is a great chance he will get leave and he was thinking about surprising everyone, including our parents, by showing up to town.  If he went through with it, I would pick him up at the airport on Christmas Eve and bring him home in time to surprise our parents before we went to my grandparents' house for dinner and opening gifts.  I had the idea of sticking him in a wrapped box or putting a big fat bow on his head for when we walked in like "LOL SURPRISE" if we did it, but I do have quite a few reservations and I'm not sold on the idea at all.

1) I am not sure how well my parents would react to my going to "Starbucks" and returning with their son, who's supposed to be in a rathole somewhere, in tow.  If you were a parent (and things like food/lodging weren't an issue), what would your thoughts be? I told him that if he really wants to surprise everyone, he might consider at least telling our parents that he's coming in and perhaps surprising the rest of the family.

2) The gifts thing could be an issue. We typically exchange gifts at Christmas but I won't be able to carry any of them back with me because I have to fly in and out. So if  I get things it'll be cash or maybe get an IOU or something. I assume if my brother was planning on coming in things would be the same for him since he can't take things back, but as it stands if he just showed up they wouldn't have anything anyway. Would  it be better to let everyone prep for his arrival because of this?

3) I should mention that my parents, grandparents, aunt, and uncle are in very good health and no one is going to have a heart attack from seeing him. That said, I don't know if this would be a funny surprise or just unpleasantly shocking.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: Deetee on October 10, 2012, 09:50:39 AM
I think it sounds great. But you know your family.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: amylouky on October 10, 2012, 10:02:22 AM
I think that it sounds wonderful, as well. I think though, if brother will be needing to stay with parents, they should probably get a heads up.
As for the gifts, I wouldn't worry too much about them. Maybe you could tell your family you're sending him a small package a week or so before, and if they'd like to include their gifts to him in it you'll pick them up on Christmas? That way they'd have them ready..
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: Sharnita on October 10, 2012, 10:04:36 AM
It sounds great to me.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: sourwolf on October 10, 2012, 10:07:54 AM
My parents would be thrilled (and we have done this on a smaller scale, ie it was a surprise but no one was coming home from the military) It might actually work better as a surprise that way if his flight is late or something they aren't worried about when he will get home.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: JenJay on October 10, 2012, 10:09:31 AM
I would love it!

As for gifts, when people inevitably say "Oh you stinker, I don't even have a gift for you!" he can say "Good because I don't have one for you, either. I'm just thrilled to BE here!"
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 10, 2012, 10:10:27 AM
I think it would be a totally fun surprise and I wouldn't worry about the gifts aspect at all.  Or do as AmyLouky suggests and tell people you are going to send him something after Christmas so if everyone wants to put in together, you can send one package.

The only reason I see to tell your parents is if there are some logistics that need to be worked out, like where brother will be sleeping, enough room in the car to the grandparents, etc.  If there are no issues with those logistics, then I wouldn't worry about telling your folks.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: SamiHami on October 10, 2012, 10:13:34 AM
I think it's a wonderful surprise! What better gift could they receive?

When I was in first grade my dad was in Viet Nam. My brother and I were surprised, amazed, thrilled, excited and completely over the moon when Daddy came walking in the door that Christmas! He was actually given 3 week leave to come home for the holidays! I'm 47 now, but that stands out at the greatest Christmas of my life! I wouldn't trade the memory of that surprise for anything.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: Shopaholic on October 10, 2012, 10:16:56 AM
I think it's a great surprise, and gifts would probably be the last thing on my mind.
I don't think there is anything the slightest bit unpleasant in it for anyone.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: CakeBeret on October 10, 2012, 10:29:37 AM
I think it would be a fantastic surprise. I would definitely go for it. :D

Your parents may feel a little guilty about not having gifts for him, but I think the surprise will definitely outweigh it.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: Perfect Circle on October 10, 2012, 10:50:21 AM
I would think it a fantastic surprise and would imagine gifts would not be on anyone's mind.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: gorplady on October 10, 2012, 10:54:28 AM
I think you're over-thinking this way, way too much.

Nobody will be mad at you for lying about going to Starbucks and returning with your brother.

Do the surprise. It'll be worth it.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: Moray on October 10, 2012, 11:00:25 AM
What a wonderful surprise! Gifts shouldn't even enter into it. Being safe and together again sounds like a great "gift" for all concerned.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: Cat-Fu on October 10, 2012, 11:12:08 AM
I'd be pleased as punch! How could one feel unpleasant things when their beloved child/nephew/grandchild is with them instead of in a war zone? :)

Re: gift logistics; what were your parents planning on doing? In my family, typically there is a Christmas Box o' presents sent to arrive slightly before Christmas, then a second box with all the stuff that relatives handed to the parents on Christmas Day, sent after Xmas. It is entirely probable that your brother will have things to open anyway. :)
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: lowspark on October 10, 2012, 11:17:06 AM
I'm going to be the lone dissenter. And take this with a grain of salt because you know your family and how they feel about surprises. Some people do love them, I'm just not one of them.

And here's why. If my son were going to be home from overseas service, and I'm assuming he'll be home for at least a week, I'd really want to know in advance. I'd want to make plans for the time he was going to be here, and by the same token, not make plans that didn't include him, which I might do if I didn't know he was coming. Plus, for me, the anticipation of him coming home would be part of the excitement.

Christmas is one of those holidays that is quite a lot about the anticipation. And going through all of December with the thought in mind that my son wasn't going to be there to share it with me, when I could have been thinking all month about how great it was going to be to be able to spend the holiday with him, well, I'd just rather have known.

Now, if your only concerns about this is the gift issue, and you feel that your family would be more thrilled at the surprise aspect than if they knew beforehand, then by all means, I would not let the gift thing stand in my way. And I agree with a PP that if they are ok with the surprise, your going to Starbucks and returning with your brother would be pretty cool. 

So for me, the only question is, do your parents love surprises?

ETA: Regarding Cat-Fu's question:
How could one feel unpleasant things when their beloved child/nephew/grandchild is with them instead of in a war zone?
It's not that I'd feel unpleasant things, not at all! Just that I'd rather have known in advance for the reasons stated above. Of course I'd still be thrilled to see him!
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: Zilla on October 10, 2012, 11:20:35 AM
I think if plans were made, Adelaide would know about them since she too is flying in.  And plus no one would begrudge them cancelling them to spend time with their own son that is on leave.


I love the idea of the surprise and it will probably be one of the "best" gift you can give you parents.  It will most certainly make it memorable and something to talk about for years to come. :)  Especially if you can get it on your phone video!
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: Amava on October 10, 2012, 11:23:05 AM
Personally, I would rather be able to prepare myself mentally if I was going to see my son again after a long time.

I may be weird, but I don't like being emotionally overwhelmed.

I would still be glad to see him, of course, but I would get more out of it if I could first get used to the idea in private, then spend a few weeks in happy expectation, living towards the moment.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: o_gal on October 10, 2012, 11:24:36 AM
1) I am not sure how well my parents would react to my going to "Starbucks" and returning with their son.

To start with, I think you should do it. As you said, there's no reason to believe that anyone will keel over with a heart attack. And all of those surprise returns that they show on the news look like so much fun.

However, in order to pull this off, I think you need a better plan than "going to Starbucks". If you get caught up in preparation or anything else that afternoon, it might seem odd and rude to the other people there that all of a sudden you and you alone need to make a coffee run. Try to "schedule" something (like going to see an old friend in town) that will take you alone out of the house for the amount of time you will need to get to the airport and back. Then it will seem natural that you have to leave. And be prepared for the possibility of getting stuck at the airport if his flight is delayed. What you need to claim to be doing needs to have that built in. Otherwise you could have other people sitting around, waiting for you to return in order to continue the planned festivities.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 10, 2012, 11:25:33 AM
As a mom, if it was truly last minute, like a schedule was changed within a few days of Christmas, I'd love the suprise. 

However, if it was months in advance, then I'd probably want that time to enjoy the anticipation and maybe plan for something special for the visiting child.

But you two know your parents so go with your gut feel. 
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: TootsNYC on October 10, 2012, 11:27:50 AM
I confess to a personal bias against these sorts of things.

I'm not going to be popular--peopel are going to jump all over me.

I think the surprise makes it all about the surpriser, and not at all about the surprisee. It's essentially selfish.

I also think it robs the surprisee of ANTICIPATION!
And personally, I really like anticipation. I like being able to say all week long, "my new boyfriend is taking me to the zoo!"
(My boyfriend was really into the surprise, and I had to break him of it, because it made MY life much less rich. If he hadn't understood my objections, I probably wouldn't have married him. He still likes surprising me, but he doesn't do it as often, because I object to missing out on all the "looking forward to it.")

(that's why I think these sorts of surprises are essentially a selfish act--HE gets the anticipation, but THEY don't)

Think how many more hours your family will have that are full of joy because they are looking forward to the arrival of their child. It won't diminish the excitement of seeing him for the first time. In my case, it would probably heighten it.

Even knowing that he might be able to come, and he's trying, would provide a level of joy (and confirmation of his love), even if it all fell through.

So I vote no, for those reasons.


And I'll also confess--the "soldier surprising his family" is just not new anymore. It's become a cliché. I was watching a video of such a surprise that was done at a football game, and I thought, I'd have been mildly annoyed.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: sourwolf on October 10, 2012, 11:31:02 AM
Toots, I don't think anyone is going to "jump all over you" after all your opinion is just that, your opinion.

However one of the reasons I said it would be a better idea to leave it as a surprise is that with the military you never know what is going to happen.  I think it would be much worse to be anticipating your son coming home and at the last minute it not happen for whatever reason.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: Moray on October 10, 2012, 11:35:23 AM
*snip*
And I'll also confess--the "soldier surprising his family" is just not new anymore. It's become a cliché. I was watching a video of such a surprise that was done at a football game, and I thought, I'd have been mildly annoyed.

To be frank, who the heck cares if it's cliché or not? That doesn't make it any less emotional for the people involved.

I can absolutely understand that some people hate surprises, and prefer to plan and anticipate things, but the general reaction is still "Thank diety you're safe; I'm so glad you're home!!!". If, imagining yourself in the scenario, the only reaction you can muster is mild annoyance that you didn't get a chance to anticipate his return, that's a bit odd.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: Zilla on October 10, 2012, 11:40:01 AM
I was okay with the whole post as you are completely entitled to your opinion.  But wow what a way to diss everyone in the thread stating it's such a cliche after several expressed positive comments about it.

Quote
And I'll also confess--the "soldier surprising his family" is just not new anymore. It's become a cliché. I was watching a video of such a surprise that was done at a football game, and I thought, I'd have been mildly annoyed.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: Cat-Fu on October 10, 2012, 11:43:14 AM
Some things are cliché for good reason! Bending down on one knee for a proposal is a cliché, but it is still very popular with those on the receiving end of it! :P

I can see how someone who hates surprises would be more pleased to know in advance, so it's definitely important to consider whether your family is made up of surprise lovers or haters, OP!

Lowspark, when I said "unpleasant things" I was referring to Adelaide's comment about it being unpleasantly shocking, not saying that wanting advance notice = unpleasant! I'm sorry if it came out that way!
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: TheaterDiva1 on October 10, 2012, 11:46:03 AM
Barring logistical issues, I think it's a great idea!  Reminds me of that Folgers coffee commercial they show during the holidays where their adult son, who had moved out, snuck into the house on Christmas morning and started making coffee.  The family comes in and sees him.  I've always loved that commercial.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: CaptainObvious on October 10, 2012, 11:46:22 AM
I confess to a personal bias against these sorts of things.


And I'll also confess--the "soldier surprising his family" is just not new anymore. It's become a cliché. I was watching a video of such a surprise that was done at a football game, and I thought, I'd have been mildly annoyed.

It may be cliché to you, but luckily their families aren't going to think this way. Glad you don't work for USO or anything like that. Maybe you should drop the topic and walk away. FAR away.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: sourwolf on October 10, 2012, 11:47:38 AM
I confess to a personal bias against these sorts of things.


And I'll also confess--the "soldier surprising his family" is just not new anymore. It's become a cliché. I was watching a video of such a surprise that was done at a football game, and I thought, I'd have been mildly annoyed.

It may be cliché to you, but luckily their families aren't going to think this way. Glad you don't work for USO or anything like that. Maybe you should drop the topic and walk away. FAR away.

Come on, is that really fair?  Toots already said she knew people weren't likely to agree with her (I don't) but she's still allowed to have an opinion.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: Girly on October 10, 2012, 11:50:31 AM
I confess to a personal bias against these sorts of things.


And I'll also confess--the "soldier surprising his family" is just not new anymore. It's become a cliché. I was watching a video of such a surprise that was done at a football game, and I thought, I'd have been mildly annoyed.

It may be cliché to you, but luckily their families aren't going to think this way. Glad you don't work for USO or anything like that. Maybe you should drop the topic and walk away. FAR away.

Come on, is that really fair?  Toots already said she knew people weren't likely to agree with her (I don't) but she's still allowed to have an opinion.

Sure she's allowed to have her opinion, and I'm allowed to be one of the people to disagree with it.

If anyone in my family that is overseas fighting came home for Christmas, I would not give a crap how cliché it was, I would LOVE to see them, and be so happy they were home, safe, with me.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: sourwolf on October 10, 2012, 11:51:43 AM
I confess to a personal bias against these sorts of things.


And I'll also confess--the "soldier surprising his family" is just not new anymore. It's become a cliché. I was watching a video of such a surprise that was done at a football game, and I thought, I'd have been mildly annoyed.

It may be cliché to you, but luckily their families aren't going to think this way. Glad you don't work for USO or anything like that. Maybe you should drop the topic and walk away. FAR away.

Come on, is that really fair?  Toots already said she knew people weren't likely to agree with her (I don't) but she's still allowed to have an opinion.

Sure she's allowed to have her opinion, and I'm allowed to be one of the people to disagree with it.

If anyone in my family that is overseas fighting came home for Christmas, I would not give a crap how cliché it was, I would LOVE to see them, and be so happy they were home, safe, with me.

And, if you read my posts in this thread (including the one you quoted) you'd understand that I also disagree, I just think there are polite ways to disagree and rude ones and that Zoltar was unreasonably harsh in her reply.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: Amava on October 10, 2012, 11:53:49 AM
Some things are cliché for good reason! Bending down on one knee for a proposal is a cliché, but it is still very popular with those on the receiving end of it! :P
With /some/ of those on the receiving end of it, maybe.
Not with everyone. I personally would either be offended or just laugh, or both, if someone tried a  "proposing ceremony" with me. (But I'm already married so I don't have to worry about it.)  ;)

Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: PurpleFrog on October 10, 2012, 11:57:46 AM
If I were your mother, I'd bawl my eyes out, smack you both upside the head, call you something rude, hug you both and have a throughly lovely time flapping around making up bed and wondering how to squash an extra person round the table - and I hate surprises.

You know your family, if they'd get a kick out of it do. Don't worry about presents etc, I'm sure they can always drag him shopping and have the pleasure of spoiling him too. :D


Several posts while I was typing, I stand by my point, cliched or not.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: Moray on October 10, 2012, 11:58:52 AM
Some things are cliché for good reason! Bending down on one knee for a proposal is a cliché, but it is still very popular with those on the receiving end of it! :P
With /some/ of those on the receiving end of it, maybe.
Not with everyone. I personally would either be offended or just laugh, or both, if someone tried a  "proposing ceremony" with me. (But I'm already married so I don't have to worry about it.)  ;)

But really, does bending down on one knee somehow make the proposal less sincere? Maybe it's cheesy, maybe it's cliche, but that doesn't distract from the sentiment, which is "I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you."


ETA: PurpleFrog, that sounds exactly like me!
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: camlan on October 10, 2012, 12:02:14 PM
I get what TootsNYC is saying about the cliche. I have to admit that I've seen so many surprise returns of servicepeople on YouTube, that I have suspected that some of them were arranged just so they could put the video up on the internet. I realize I could be very wrong about that. But the fact that so many of them are in public places strikes me as more attention-getting than wanting to surprise loved ones. The ones that happen in at home don't strike me this way.

For the record, I currently have two brothers serving in the Middle East. I'd be thrilled to see them at any time, any place. But if they wanted to surprise me, I'd prefer it not be in public. It's a mild preference--I'd be so happy to have them home and safe, that would override any other emotion. But I'd rather start crying at home, not in public, if there's a choice in the matter.

To answer the OP--it's a "know your audience" thing. If you think surprising your parents will add to their joy, or his, go ahead and surprise them.

As for gifts, won't a lot of people have mailed them already? He'd either receive them before he left or on his return. I'd have no problem telling him, "Hey, your gift is in the mail."
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: NyaChan on October 10, 2012, 12:04:44 PM
If I were your mother, I'd bawl my eyes out, smack you both upside the head, call you something rude, hug you both and have a throughly lovely time flapping around making up bed and wondering how to squash an extra person round the table - and I hate surprises.

You know your family, if they'd get a kick out of it do. Don't worry about presents etc, I'm sure they can always drag him shopping and have the pleasure of spoiling him too. :D


Several posts while I was typing, I stand by my point, cliched or not.

That's pretty much what my parents did when I surprised them by coming home from college for a random weekend - my mom just kept saying "you silly girl" and hugging me while they both teared up.  It was a good moment - I came home just in time for dinner and my mom got to fuss over feeding me and putting extra blankets in my room :)  If she doesn't like doing stuff like that, she's pretty good at hiding it.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: StressedGroom on October 10, 2012, 12:12:58 PM
I've been there and one that.  In my case I wasn't in a war zone, I was stationed in upstate New York for school.  I wasn't supposed to be off for the holidays, but things worked out where I had a couple of days I could fly home for Christmas; my sister was in on it and picked me up from the airport.

There was no discussion of gifts, no argument over the ability to make plans, I was only there to spend time with my family and that's what I did.

There are a lot of things that have become cliche, especially in the age of YouTube, but a just because it is a cliche to you doesn't mean it isn't important to the people it's happening too. 

Bullied kids have become a cliche, but when it happens to someone I know it matters to me.  I am a cynic; but I hope I never become so cynical that I that I feel nothing when I see someone elses joy because it has been done before.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: cicero on October 10, 2012, 12:20:14 PM
i would love it.

and i'm not a fan of surprises.

cliche or not, there is something just so ... beautiful about a soldier coming home for the holidays...
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: WillyNilly on October 10, 2012, 12:24:56 PM
I can say in my family, while they'd be happy to see my brother, everyone would be hurt, annoyed, insulted, put out - all sorts of things - about a surprize like this. Because its not a surprize visit as in "guess what? I got the holiday off afterall!" Its months of lying. I said in another thread there is a fine line between a secret and a surprize. To me this is solidly in "secret" zone - you and your brother are keeping his plans and his schedule a secret from those who love him and worry about him and miss him. And in order to keep that secret several lies will be told. To me, its not a lovely fun thing to do at all. And that's not even touching on the fact the visit will no doubt put an undue burden on people's schedules at one of the busiest times of he year and hardest times to get time off work.

(Oh and for the record, I do agree its cliche. Its been done a hundred million times. And I have o admitt when I see one of those youtube videos all I think is "how selfish!" never "how sweet".)
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: Kiwichick on October 10, 2012, 12:31:44 PM
I get what Talley is saying about the cliche.  /snip

Who's Talley?

My siblings and I often surprise my mother for Christmas, it's a joyful, happy time. 

I say go for it, so what if there are some logistics to work out, unless your folks are planning to leave on a cruise the next day everything will fall into place.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: Adelaide on October 10, 2012, 12:33:18 PM
A few things to clarify:

Historically, my father loves surprises. My mother doesn't like them as much, but only when they fall into a certain category-like she would hate a surprise party for herself, or hate a surprise that *she* felt like put her on the spot/gave her more work to do, even if the obligation was all in her head. (For instance, if we had a surprise party at our house, she would feel obligated to help clean up after/entertain everyone and she wouldn't really enjoy it.)

Knowing this, I don't feel like my brother's coming home falls into this category. We have a well-established routine for Christmas, and we wouldn't be doing anything differently if I sneaked my brother in. His room is the same as when he left it, so he'd have a place to sleep, and the quantities of food prepared won't be different in his absence.

I agree with people who say that "I'm going to Starbucks on Christmas Eve" is a flimsy excuse. I may just level with them and say "I am going to get your surprise, I couldn't get it until now" if it comes down to it.

As far as the cliche goes, I know that there are a ton of videos about it on Youtube or people doing it in public. But this wouldn't be a big to-do because a) we're not filming it (unless we did @ my grandparents' house for our personal enjoyment) and b) he's only been gone since August. When he left we'd well established that there was no chance of him coming home for the holidays and he might get leave in March.

Now there's a good chance that he *might* get off for Christmas. I have to qualify that (even though I said "great" in my first post!) because he just texted me and said that he's been picked for some sketchy something-or-other program and might not end up coming home. He tells me a LOT of stuff that he wouldn't ever tell our parents because they would just fret over it. I feel like it isn't months of lying in this case. Even if he does get to come he won't know 100% until his flight is booked in December, so we've already saved our parents/grandparents at least a month of the roller coaster of yes/nevermind no/yes/wait let me see what this program says.

Even if it is a cliche, do you think that our relatives would think "Oh, this again" if they saw him? Like, would some of the "novelty" be worn off of it from so many videos/news snippets on it? Again, we're not trying to stage anything or make a big fanfare other than plopping a bow on his head or something.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: camlan on October 10, 2012, 12:37:05 PM
I get what Talley is saying about the cliche.  /snip

Who's Talley?

My siblings and I often surprise my mother for Christmas, it's a joyful, happy time. 

I say go for it, so what if there are some logistics to work out, unless your folks are planning to leave on a cruise the next day everything will fall into place.

SOrry, TootsNYC. My fingers were typing on autopilot for a moment there.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: PurpleFrog on October 10, 2012, 12:38:25 PM
With the update, do it 100%.

I don't think the cliche factor hits hen its your own family coming home.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: Kiwichick on October 10, 2012, 12:46:13 PM
I get what Talley is saying about the cliche.  /snip

Who's Talley?

My siblings and I often surprise my mother for Christmas, it's a joyful, happy time. 

I say go for it, so what if there are some logistics to work out, unless your folks are planning to leave on a cruise the next day everything will fall into place.

SOrry, TootsNYC. My fingers were typing on autopilot for a moment there.

No worries!  I thought someone might have deleted a post or something :)
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Perfect Circle on October 10, 2012, 12:46:30 PM
With the update, do it 100%.

I don't think the cliche factor hits hen its your own family coming home.

I completely agree and I really hope your brother does get to come home!
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: General Jinjur on October 10, 2012, 12:50:52 PM
If my son came home from overseas under his own power, that's good enough for me. How is this even something to debate?
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Adelaide on October 10, 2012, 12:54:24 PM
If my son came home from overseas under his own power, that's good enough for me. How is this even something to debate?

Well, for this I have to do things like borrow my parents' car on Christmas Eve and give them a little white lie. Also, I know that some people like surprises and some people just feel overwhelmed/obligated to do extra stuff like my mom does sometimes. I just wanted to consider all of the aspects and get different opinions to make sure that I wasn't going to aid my brother in breaching any etiquette issues.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: WillyNilly on October 10, 2012, 01:00:25 PM
If my son came home from overseas under his own power, that's good enough for me. How is this even something to debate?

Well because the coming home part isn't what up for debate.  The thread is about surprising people with him being home, or giving advanced notice he's coming home.  Either way if he gets leave he's coming home, there's [I'm assuming] no debate over that.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Girly on October 10, 2012, 01:01:43 PM
If my son came home from overseas under his own power, that's good enough for me. How is this even something to debate?

Well, for this I have to do things like borrow my parents' car on Christmas Eve and give them a little white lie. Also, I know that some people like surprises and some people just feel overwhelmed/obligated to do extra stuff like my mom does sometimes. I just wanted to consider all of the aspects and get different opinions to make sure that I wasn't going to aid my brother in breaching any etiquette issues.

Unless you are talking about bringing someone to a party that wasn't specifically invited, I don't really see how this is an etiquette issue.

If it would make you feel better, could you maybe tell your mom, but not dad, since he likes surprises and she may feel overwhelmed by it?
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Sharnita on October 10, 2012, 01:03:24 PM
As far s making plans for his being home - maybe part of the reason he would like to do it this way is to avoid all of that.  He might want to be able to visit without the pressure of being overscheduled.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Luci on October 10, 2012, 01:05:03 PM
I was going to be #6 (I think) with 'no'. I would hate it.

I love the anticipation as much as the event itself, and onetime someone wasn't coming home for Christmas, I spent the entire month crying at every mention of Christmas (I'll Be Home for Christmas was the worst song ever.) At that time, I had no one else to think about, like my other children and grandchildren, so that would have made a difference. If I had thought there was over a 50/50 chance he'd be there, I would want to know.

As soon as he gets on the plane, I would want to know especially.

The surprise is a surprise at anytime. We were just as surpised that we were getting twin granddaughters early on as we would have been showing up at the hospital. We were just a surprised that we were getting 25th and 40th anniversary parties in the planning stages as we would have been showing up for dinner somewhere.


Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 10, 2012, 01:07:49 PM
Based on your update, I wouldn't tell your parents or any other family.  Because it is still up in the air, they might get their hopes up and then have them dashed.  It sounds to me like you and your brother have a very close relationship and it isn't unusual for you to have 'secrets', so I don't think it is weird that you are in on it.

I like the idea of telling your parents, when you are heading out, that you are heading out to pick up their Christmas present.  And then sticking a big bow on your brother's head for when you come in the door.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 10, 2012, 01:21:32 PM
I confess to a personal bias against these sorts of things.


And I'll also confess--the "soldier surprising his family" is just not new anymore. It's become a cliché. I was watching a video of such a surprise that was done at a football game, and I thought, I'd have been mildly annoyed.

It may be cliché to you, but luckily their families aren't going to think this way. Glad you don't work for USO or anything like that. Maybe you should drop the topic and walk away. FAR away.

Come on, is that really fair?  Toots already said she knew people weren't likely to agree with her (I don't) but she's still allowed to have an opinion.

Sure she's allowed to have her opinion, and I'm allowed to be one of the people to disagree with it.

If anyone in my family that is overseas fighting came home for Christmas, I would not give a crap how cliché it was, I would LOVE to see them, and be so happy they were home, safe, with me.

But why is it wrong for Toots to say she'd rather have had your reunion in private instead of at a very public football game.  It's not taking away from how happy a person is to see someone but it is reasonable that they may not want to share their happiness with thousands of strangers, especially if they are a private person. 
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Sharnita on October 10, 2012, 01:27:06 PM
I think Toots was not only saying she wouldn't want het reunion in public but that she doesn't want to witness the reunions of others, either.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: gorplady on October 10, 2012, 01:33:36 PM
Because you or Toots don't get to decide for me or make decisions on behalf of my family. I would think that my family would know whether or not I want a potentially emotional event in a football stadium or on an isolated island.

Regardless, the world is not made up of emotionless automatons nor do we live in an emotionless vacuum. The correct and proper response if confronted with an emotional situation, whether happy or sad, is to do what my mom used to tell me: "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: WillyNilly on October 10, 2012, 01:37:53 PM
I think Toots was not only saying she wouldn't want het reunion in public but that she doesn't want to witness the reunions of others, either.

I don't know if she was saying that but I know that's where I stand.  Soldier jacking a public event is no less obnoxious then proposal jacking an event or mommy jacking a conversation, etc.  I don't think these types of surprises are sweet or nice, and I certainly don't want to be peripherally involved in one to the point of being forced to witness it, especially in the case of a soldier (there seems to be in the US a vehement belief that there is only one way to react to anything military related and that is to love it love it love it support it with all your being be touched deeply and think its the most wonderful thing.  And I really wouldn't want to be stuck at a game being forced into faking an emotional response I didn't have or else risk ostracism or taunting or goodness knows what.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: WillyNilly on October 10, 2012, 01:42:22 PM
Because you or Toots don't get to decide for me or make decisions on behalf of my family. I would think that my family would know whether or not I want a potentially emotional event in a football stadium or on an isolated island.

Regardless, the world is not made up of emotionless automatons nor do we live in an emotionless vacuum. The correct and proper response if confronted with an emotional situation, whether happy or sad, is to do what my mom used to tell me: "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

Your first sentence is saying no one gets to make these decisions for you and your family... but don't you see if its done at a football game - unless it s solely a family game - thats your family deciding for others that they should witness the home coming?  If others don't get to decide for you, then you don't get to decide for others. 

But really I think we are all getting off track, as OP was talking about bringing her brother home and to their grandparent's private home; nothing public.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: CaptainObvious on October 10, 2012, 01:43:30 PM
I confess to a personal bias against these sorts of things.


And I'll also confess--the "soldier surprising his family" is just not new anymore. It's become a cliché. I was watching a video of such a surprise that was done at a football game, and I thought, I'd have been mildly annoyed.

It may be cliché to you, but luckily their families aren't going to think this way. Glad you don't work for USO or anything like that. Maybe you should drop the topic and walk away. FAR away.

Come on, is that really fair?  Toots already said she knew people weren't likely to agree with her (I don't) but she's still allowed to have an opinion.

My own opinion has to be fair to exist? I don't think so. My opinion deserves to exist as well as anyone else's does. You don't have to like it, but there it is.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: sourwolf on October 10, 2012, 01:46:40 PM
I confess to a personal bias against these sorts of things.


And I'll also confess--the "soldier surprising his family" is just not new anymore. It's become a cliché. I was watching a video of such a surprise that was done at a football game, and I thought, I'd have been mildly annoyed.

It may be cliché to you, but luckily their families aren't going to think this way. Glad you don't work for USO or anything like that. Maybe you should drop the topic and walk away. FAR away.

Come on, is that really fair?  Toots already said she knew people weren't likely to agree with her (I don't) but she's still allowed to have an opinion.

My own opinion has to be fair to exist? I don't think so. My opinion deserves to exist as well as anyone else's does. You don't have to like it, but there it is.

I'm not entirely sure what you're trying to say here? Of course your opinion deserves to exist. I just thought you were pretty rude to tell her not to post in this thread just because you don't agree with her.  I don't agree with her either but was able to find a less combative way to express my opinion.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Sharnita on October 10, 2012, 01:48:10 PM
Because you or Toots don't get to decide for me or make decisions on behalf of my family. I would think that my family would know whether or not I want a potentially emotional event in a football stadium or on an isolated island.

Regardless, the world is not made up of emotionless automatons nor do we live in an emotionless vacuum. The correct and proper response if confronted with an emotional situation, whether happy or sad, is to do what my mom used to tell me: "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

Your first sentence is saying no one gets to make these decisions for you and your family... but don't you see if its done at a football game - unless it s solely a family game - thats your family deciding for others that they should witness the home coming?  If others don't get to decide for you, then you don't get to decide for others. 

But really I think we are all getting off track, as OP was talking about bringing her brother home and to their grandparent's private home; nothing public.

They might also witness a couple having an argument, a kid having a temper tantrum, somebody protesting outside the entrance of the venue. an intoxicated fan, etc.  I think the reality is that you incur at least some risk when you choose to attend.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: CaptainObvious on October 10, 2012, 01:48:52 PM
I confess to a personal bias against these sorts of things.


And I'll also confess--the "soldier surprising his family" is just not new anymore. It's become a cliché. I was watching a video of such a surprise that was done at a football game, and I thought, I'd have been mildly annoyed.

It may be cliché to you, but luckily their families aren't going to think this way. Glad you don't work for USO or anything like that. Maybe you should drop the topic and walk away. FAR away.

Come on, is that really fair?  Toots already said she knew people weren't likely to agree with her (I don't) but she's still allowed to have an opinion.

My own opinion has to be fair to exist? I don't think so. My opinion deserves to exist as well as anyone else's does. You don't have to like it, but there it is.

I'm not entirely sure what you're trying to say here? Of course your opinion deserves to exist. I just thought you were pretty rude to tell her not to post in this thread just because you don't agree with her.  I don't agree with her either but was able to find a less combative way to express my opinion.

Less combative than stating an opinion she was sure people would hate? Have a long tall drink.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: sourwolf on October 10, 2012, 01:49:58 PM
I confess to a personal bias against these sorts of things.


And I'll also confess--the "soldier surprising his family" is just not new anymore. It's become a cliché. I was watching a video of such a surprise that was done at a football game, and I thought, I'd have been mildly annoyed.

It may be cliché to you, but luckily their families aren't going to think this way. Glad you don't work for USO or anything like that. Maybe you should drop the topic and walk away. FAR away.

Come on, is that really fair?  Toots already said she knew people weren't likely to agree with her (I don't) but she's still allowed to have an opinion.

My own opinion has to be fair to exist? I don't think so. My opinion deserves to exist as well as anyone else's does. You don't have to like it, but there it is.

I'm not entirely sure what you're trying to say here? Of course your opinion deserves to exist. I just thought you were pretty rude to tell her not to post in this thread just because you don't agree with her.  I don't agree with her either but was able to find a less combative way to express my opinion.

Less combative than stating an opinion she was sure people would hate? Have a long tall drink.

Ok, I literally have no idea what you are trying to say but you are obviously upset, so I'm sorry if I somehow contributed to that.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Sharnita on October 10, 2012, 01:51:12 PM
As far as etiquette I think that if you aren't comfortable helping with the surprise you aren't obligated to do so but you do not have the right to share your brother's information without his approval. SO it would be fine to refuse to actively help surprise people but I think it would be rude to leak confidential information.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: O'Dell on October 10, 2012, 01:51:58 PM
I think it depends on family. In my family, the planned surprise visit wouldn't go over well. We aren't big on showing emotion and we like to be prepared. But your family sounds like they are okay with it. That he might not make it, tips the scales toward making it a surprise. Save your parents the disappointment if he doesn't get to come home.

Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 10, 2012, 01:52:47 PM
I don't think the whole cliche argument applies in this case.  The OP and her brother are not co-opting any public event; the reunions will be at home with, presumably, no video uplinked to YouTube.

I can see Toots and WillyNilly's point that when these reunions are done publicly, it is forcing everyone to watch and be happy for them and be all Ra Ra for the military.  Which some people don't agree with.

Personally, I love watching videos of soldiers coming home and seeing them greeted by family/friends/pets/whoever.  Even if/when I don't agree with the action/war they are participating in.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: WillyNilly on October 10, 2012, 01:55:05 PM
I confess to a personal bias against these sorts of things.


And I'll also confess--the "soldier surprising his family" is just not new anymore. It's become a cliché. I was watching a video of such a surprise that was done at a football game, and I thought, I'd have been mildly annoyed.

It may be cliché to you, but luckily their families aren't going to think this way. Glad you don't work for USO or anything like that. Maybe you should drop the topic and walk away. FAR away.

Come on, is that really fair?  Toots already said she knew people weren't likely to agree with her (I don't) but she's still allowed to have an opinion.

My own opinion has to be fair to exist? I don't think so. My opinion deserves to exist as well as anyone else's does. You don't have to like it, but there it is.

I'm not entirely sure what you're trying to say here? Of course your opinion deserves to exist. I just thought you were pretty rude to tell her not to post in this thread just because you don't agree with her.  I don't agree with her either but was able to find a less combative way to express my opinion.

Less combative than stating an opinion she was sure people would hate? Have a long tall drink.

I didn't hate Toots' comment and I'm a person.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Adelaide on October 10, 2012, 01:56:02 PM
Because you or Toots don't get to decide for me or make decisions on behalf of my family. I would think that my family would know whether or not I want a potentially emotional event in a football stadium or on an isolated island.

Regardless, the world is not made up of emotionless automatons nor do we live in an emotionless vacuum. The correct and proper response if confronted with an emotional situation, whether happy or sad, is to do what my mom used to tell me: "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

Your first sentence is saying no one gets to make these decisions for you and your family... but don't you see if its done at a football game - unless it s solely a family game - thats your family deciding for others that they should witness the home coming?  If others don't get to decide for you, then you don't get to decide for others. 

But really I think we are all getting off track, as OP was talking about bringing her brother home and to their grandparent's private home; nothing public.

They might also witness a couple having an argument, a kid having a temper tantrum, somebody protesting outside the entrance of the venue. an intoxicated fan, etc.  I think the reality is that you incur at least some risk when you choose to attend.

The difference with an elaborate homecoming is that it can stop the entire event in its tracks, be it a football game that is put on hold, a family reunion that everyone is "required" to wait for/hold off on/pause during, or something else where the homecoming takes priority and people are expected to stand up/clap/cheer/put off the main event. (Of course, some people might reconnect at a football game without prior instruction to the announcers that there needed to be a pause in the actual game, in which case it would be a situation where no one was inconvenienced.)

In my case, we're just talking about a handful of family members...who would be doing what they were planning on doing anyway, so I don't have to worry about that aspect of holding things up.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Wordgeek on October 10, 2012, 02:01:10 PM
All righty then, Zoltar's taking a little break.  Everyone else, carry on.  Stay on topic.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: gorplady on October 10, 2012, 02:28:09 PM
I think that we used to welcome veterans home with citywide parades and honor the fallen veterans with solemn ceremonies. Now we are mildly annoyed or worry about the disruption.

I think that bringing your brother home alive as a surprise gift (I like Outdoor Girl's suggestion!) would be the best gift you both could give your parents and worth *any* minor inconvenience.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
Post by: lowspark on October 10, 2012, 02:31:17 PM
Some things are cliché for good reason! Bending down on one knee for a proposal is a cliché, but it is still very popular with those on the receiving end of it! :P

I can see how someone who hates surprises would be more pleased to know in advance, so it's definitely important to consider whether your family is made up of surprise lovers or haters, OP!

Lowspark, when I said "unpleasant things" I was referring to Adelaide's comment about it being unpleasantly shocking, not saying that wanting advance notice = unpleasant! I'm sorry if it came out that way!

Don't worry, Cat-Fu, I didn't take it that way. I just wanted to avoid anyone thinking that I might somehow have any unpleasant thoughts about my son's homecoming simply because it was done in a way I wasn't happy about. Your comments just made me realize that my post could be misinterpreted to be saying that I'd somehow be mad or unhappy at the moment, when in fact, I'd be thrilled to see him. I just wanted to emphasize that it's the surprise part that I, personally, wouldn't be happy with.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Cat-Fu on October 10, 2012, 02:34:07 PM
I feel the way I do about this because *I* was once the family that was surprised. My cousin came home for the week around Christmas after being in Iraq for nearly a year, and it was a bit of a surprise for his immediate family, as well. They had a private little homecoming when he showed up at their front door, had a night to themselves, then came to the huge extended family Christmas celebrations. We are a very close huggy-kissy-lovey family (all 44 of us, lol!) so it was an amazing and wonderful surprise with lots of tears and blubbering and all sorts of embarassing touchy-feely feelings. I hate to sound morbid, but a lot of us were afraid that his homecoming was going to be in a coffin. (He's a fireman now, btw! Loads safer... ::))

Anyway, the point of that story is that it can be a wonderful thing with the right people. If someone in the family is likely to be upset due to a dislike for surprises or feeling like WillyNilly does about soldiers, then it may not work out for the best. Only you know how the interpersonal relationships in your family work, Adelaide. I hope everything works out and you get to see your brother either way!!
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: audrey1962 on October 10, 2012, 02:34:39 PM
When my sister was in the Marines she was told she would be getting leave and it was cancelled at the last minute. Our mother was extremely upset and disappointed. I think it would have been better if sis had suprised her than for my mother to have gotten all excited and planned all sorts of things only to have it cancelled. Mom had to call all the relatives and give them the disappointing news. Who wants to do that?

I think the surprise idea is fabulous and you should do it.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Sharnita on October 10, 2012, 02:37:17 PM
I think in this case you it is important to consider the feeling of the person being surprised but also the person doing the surprising.    Somebody coming home from a deployment has emotional needs as well and having everybody know and count on their arrival might feel like too much pressure, counting your chickens, who knows. 
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 10, 2012, 02:38:38 PM
(He's a fireman now, btw! Loads safer... ::))
Cat-Fu, this made me laugh.  Adrenaline junkies, the lot of them.   :)
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: WillyNilly on October 10, 2012, 02:39:39 PM
Anyway, the point of that story is that it can be a wonderful thing with the right people. If someone in the family is likely to be upset due to a dislike for surprises or feeling like WillyNilly does about soldiers, then it may not work out for the best. Only you know how the interpersonal relationships in your family work, Adelaide. I hope everything works out and you get to see your brother either way!!

I'm missing where I said how I felt about soldiers?  I just don't like that there seems to be only one socially acceptable way to react to soldiers and specifically their public coming home surprises, in the US.

I do know my family however doesn't do well with last minute major plans changes and that for my family the holidays are a very busy time where people often wont have a free hour let alone the ability to clear time to catch up or visit with an unexpected guest, no matter how happy to see that guest.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Sharnita on October 10, 2012, 02:41:32 PM
Anyway, the point of that story is that it can be a wonderful thing with the right people. If someone in the family is likely to be upset due to a dislike for surprises or feeling like WillyNilly does about soldiers, then it may not work out for the best. Only you know how the interpersonal relationships in your family work, Adelaide. I hope everything works out and you get to see your brother either way!!

I'm missing where I said how I felt about soldiers?  I just don't like that there seems to be only one socially acceptable way to react to soldiers and specifically their public coming home surprises, in the US.

I do know my family however doesn't do well with last minute major plans changes and that for my family the holidays are a very busy time where people often wont have a free hour let alone the ability to clear time to catch up or visit with an unexpected guest, no matter how happy to see that guest.

It seems unlikely that a member of your family would come up with a plan like the OP describes in that case.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: lowspark on October 10, 2012, 02:43:13 PM
I also wanted to reply to the couple of posters commented on my reflection about making (and potentially having to cancel) plans based on not knowing he was coming home.

I'm not saying that people wouldn't be understanding if I canceled plans because of it. Or that I wouldn't drop everything willingly in order to spend time with him. Again, it's just my own preference. If at all possible, I'd rather not have made the plans in the first place. Sometimes it might just be about inconveniencing people, or it might actually be a matter of money spent.

Again, no matter what it is, of course, I'd do whatever I needed to do to spend the precious time with him. But if that is at all avoidable, well, I'd just rather avoid it.

Based on the OP's update, I really do have to wonder if her mother is going to be ok with this as a surprise. At this point, I would keep mum since as the OP said, it's not a sure thing yet. But really, when it does become a sure thing, it will probably be good to really evaluate how your mother might feel about this.

I do agree that if your brother insists it should be a surprise, you should not go against that. Just that in my opinion and in my experience, this is a surprise that should be engaged in unless you and your brother are pretty confident that everyone will really be ok with it, and maybe most especially your mother.




I was going to be #6 (I think) with 'no'. I would hate it.

I love the anticipation as much as the event itself, and onetime someone wasn't coming home for Christmas, I spent the entire month crying at every mention of Christmas (I'll Be Home for Christmas was the worst song ever.) At that time, I had no one else to think about, like my other children and grandchildren, so that would have made a difference. If I had thought there was over a 50/50 chance he'd be there, I would want to know.

As soon as he gets on the plane, I would want to know especially.

The surprise is a surprise at anytime. We were just as surpised that we were getting twin granddaughters early on as we would have been showing up at the hospital. We were just a surprised that we were getting 25th and 40th anniversary parties in the planning stages as we would have been showing up for dinner somewhere.

Regarding the bolded above, I so agree with this!! Yes, exactly.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Cat-Fu on October 10, 2012, 02:56:35 PM
Anyway, the point of that story is that it can be a wonderful thing with the right people. If someone in the family is likely to be upset due to a dislike for surprises or feeling like WillyNilly does about soldiers, then it may not work out for the best. Only you know how the interpersonal relationships in your family work, Adelaide. I hope everything works out and you get to see your brother either way!!

I'm missing where I said how I felt about soldiers?  I just don't like that there seems to be only one socially acceptable way to react to soldiers and specifically their public coming home surprises, in the US.


You said you'd have to fake feelings you didn't have or feel like you risk ostracism; those are the feelings I was referring to. I don't think it would be a nice surprise homecoming if some of the people involved had to fake it due to social pressure.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: WillyNilly on October 10, 2012, 03:02:14 PM
Someone up thread mentioned announcing his home coming once he boards his plane home.  I think if he has any doubts about the surprise going over well, that's a great compromise.  Its still a last minute surprise, but the family has a few hours to anticipate and plan for his arrival.

Anyway, the point of that story is that it can be a wonderful thing with the right people. If someone in the family is likely to be upset due to a dislike for surprises or feeling like WillyNilly does about soldiers, then it may not work out for the best. Only you know how the interpersonal relationships in your family work, Adelaide. I hope everything works out and you get to see your brother either way!!

I'm missing where I said how I felt about soldiers?  I just don't like that there seems to be only one socially acceptable way to react to soldiers and specifically their public coming home surprises, in the US.


You said you'd have to fake feelings you didn't have or feel like you risk ostracism; those are the feelings I was referring to. I don't think it would be a nice surprise homecoming if some of the people involved had to fake it due to social pressure.

That was specifically about bearing witness to a public homecoming.  It has more to do with soldier jacking and how people are "supposed to" respond to such displays then about my feelings towards people in the service.  Because I do think if someone at a football game rolled their eyes and "yeah yeah enough we get it he's home, shouldn't they have done this whole huggy bit at home privately? Lets get on with the game already, I really don't are about that dude and his kids" they would be at serious physical risk because that's just.not.done.  One would have to fake being happy for them and clapping and whatnot just to not worry about repercussions.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Sharnita on October 10, 2012, 03:07:56 PM
I think there is probably a lot of space between clapping and voicing complaints.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: NyaChan on October 10, 2012, 03:13:50 PM
I can see where WillyNilly is coming from - I tend to get irritated when people bring their personal lives into the public sphere regardless of the subject matter.  To me it is like you are using a stadium full of people as your props to make your gesture bigger.  It sometimes feels like people are showing off - I mean why not just do the surprise in a more private place?  If I'm going to a game, I'm going to have a fun or relaxing night out to watch a game - I didn't agree to be a participant in a stranger's life changing event of proposing, announcing their pregnancy, or in this case, a homecoming.  But I think a scenario with strangers is very different than a large group of people who know each other and are affected by the event being together at the big reveal moment as would be the case for Adelaide.  For her situation, I think it would be a sweet moment if she feels her parents would like it.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: gorplady on October 10, 2012, 03:20:19 PM
I seriously doubt, WillyNilly, that if you sat quietly and didn't applaud during the homecoming that you would be at serious risk.

Here's a personal example: I don't say the Pledge of Allegiance. I don't say it for personal reasons. I stand with my hands clasped behind my back and am silent while it's being said. I have never, ever been questioned on why. Ever. In small gatherings or large gatherings. Why? Because I'm respectful.

I think it's clear, WillyNilly (and Toots, who started this) that you don't think you should have to witness a soldier's homecoming because it mildly inconveniences you to have to deal with an emotional scene. I find that lack of respect to someone who put their life on the line for you to be able to even have the opinion on whether or not you have to deal with an emotional scene appalling.

I'm no Marine, in fact, I'm a pacifist, but I understand respect for others and joy in their safe return, regardless of if I know them or the family involved.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Sharnita on October 10, 2012, 03:24:44 PM
Honestly, I think tv has made people think the big public thing is a lot more common than it is.  Between the football games, baseball games,  basketball games, plays and concerts my family and friends have attended in the past few years nobody has seen one of these events where everybody is expected to watch and cheer.  If it happened on a smaller scale in public it was so small and localized that nobody outside the immediate are noticed.  I think that the rare cases it does happen it gets so much coverage that people are left with the impression that it is the norm for a surprise homecoming.

ETA: I think the same it probably true of proposals.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: cass2591 on October 10, 2012, 03:40:20 PM
Wordgeek asked that the discussion stay on topic, and I don't think arguing over whether or not a soldier's public homecoming (IE a football game) is appropriate is staying on topic. Especially since the OP specifically said her brother's surprise would be a private affair.

Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: cass2591 on October 10, 2012, 04:02:00 PM
ETA: Sorry Cass I hadn't seen your post when I clicked


When I hit post and someone has posted in the thread in which I'm trying to add my pearls of wisdom, I get a red notification telling me someone else has posted. I always read it. I suggest you do the same because it might be a worthwhile post.

Meanwhile, I deleted yours as you should have done, since you added an ETA and saw my warning. You obviously knew you were overstepping.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Cat-Fu on October 10, 2012, 04:04:32 PM
I'm sorry that my misinterpretation set the thread off-track all over again!
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Jones on October 10, 2012, 04:16:37 PM
OP, if it helps, I am one of those people who loathes surprises. I like to plan everything. I won't go into detail on past surprises that flopped.

My SIL lives with me right now, as my brother is in Afghanistan. There is no way he will be home for Christmas, but if he were to surprise us with a holiday visit I would be thrilled. Out and out thrilled. We'd have to peel some more potatoes and put out another plate, but I'd adjust, and do so happily. I'd probably put together a gift quickly, even if it was some online music account prepaid, printed off and tucked into an extra Christmas card. I guarantee he'd receive quickly drawn and sealed with a kiss pictures from my daughter. In short, we'd make do and be happy to.

However, if he told us he was coming, then we made plans for him and ended up having to ditch the plans closer to the date, the disappointment would be bitter.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: PurpleFrog on October 10, 2012, 04:23:57 PM
OP, if it helps, I am one of those people who loathes surprises. I like to plan everything. I won't go into detail on past surprises that flopped.

My SIL lives with me right now, as my brother is in Afghanistan. There is no way he will be home for Christmas, but if he were to surprise us with a holiday visit I would be thrilled. Out and out thrilled. We'd have to peel some more potatoes and put out another plate, but I'd adjust, and do so happily. I'd probably put together a gift quickly, even if it was some online music account prepaid, printed off and tucked into an extra Christmas card. I guarantee he'd receive quickly drawn and sealed with a kiss pictures from my daughter. In short, we'd make do and be happy to.

However, if he told us he was coming, then we made plans for him and ended up having to ditch the plans closer to the date, the disappointment would be bitter.


I think you've summed it up perfectly there, plus the pp who pouned out the pressure for the military personnel returning. The surprise element helps avoid pressure, disappointment and AMke the best gift ever.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: pharmagal on October 10, 2012, 05:11:28 PM
My personal opinion is worth what you're about to pay, however, I think your brother has a wonderful idea.  I'd be thrilled if my family member turned up unexpectedly for a special occasion.  Especially if they had been serving overseas and there was always the worry in the back of my mind that something might happen.  Plus, your brother probably doesn't get many moments where he can be spontaneous (even if this is planned) I can only imagine this means a great deal to him. 

I say aid and abet him as much as you can.

I had to ruin my brothers surprise visit back home a few years ago.  The weekend he was coming in, my parents were moving house and towns.  There were all sorts of logisitical nightmares and since we were at least 2 hours from the airport there was no sneaking away for coffee or anything.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: thunderroad on October 10, 2012, 09:52:32 PM
OP, I think it is a wonderful idea, and I hope we all get the joy of hearing what a wonderful Chrisrmas you all had.

My son is a civilian who works for the military and has been overseas for I think 3  of the last 5 holiday seasons.  He is not serving in harm's way as are many of our active duty military, so I don't worry about his safety the way other families do, but still, he is away from us and is away again this year.

If he arranged a surprise trip home on Christmas I would near faint with shock, I would cry, and I would be so happy to have my son with me that I would be beside myself.  It would be the best Christmas ever.

I can only imagine the relief and gratitude of a mother who worries every day about her child's safety during wartime, only to have him safe and sound in front of her. 

It sounds wonderful. 
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: TamJamB on October 11, 2012, 06:33:56 AM
I've been on all sides of this - I've been the kid coming home as a surprise, and I've been the parent whose kid came home as a surprise. My husband has also came home early from a deployment and surprised me.

And, military service being what it is, in all of the above situations I've had planned surprises cancelled at the last minute. 

Cliches become cliches for a reason. The cliche of the service person making a surprise visit home because "last minute" is so often how the military works. When my husband came home early that time he had three days notice it was going to happen. My son has been deployed over three holiday seasons. All three times, he made plans to come home as a surprise; he only actually made it home once. I planned to fly home and surprise a good friend at his wedding - at the last minute, my leave got pulled and I couldn't go...

Having your brother come home and surprise them won't ruin your parents' holiday, even if they don't particularly enjoy surprises. Knowing he is planning to come home, then having those plans cancelled at the last minute just might. I'd stuck to the surprise plan if I were you.


Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: MariaE on October 11, 2012, 07:36:23 AM
Having your brother come home and surprise them won't ruin your parents' holiday, even if they don't particularly enjoy surprises. Knowing he is planning to come home, then having those plans cancelled at the last minute just might. I'd stuck to the surprise plan if I were you.

This is where I'm at as well. I would much, much, much rather not have the chance to look forward to something and then be surprised by it happening anyway, than look forward to something (for several months even) and then be disappointed by it being cancelled.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Zilla on October 11, 2012, 08:34:02 AM
Having your brother come home and surprise them won't ruin your parents' holiday, even if they don't particularly enjoy surprises. Knowing he is planning to come home, then having those plans cancelled at the last minute just might. I'd stuck to the surprise plan if I were you.

This is where I'm at as well. I would much, much, much rather not have the chance to look forward to something and then be surprised by it happening anyway, than look forward to something (for several months even) and then be disappointed by it being cancelled.


And not making plans for that week in hopes of spending it all with him and the last minute finding out it won't happen then you are kind of floundering around.  I triple agree with the surprise idea.  It's easier to cancel then trying to find something to do as a B-List planning etc.

Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: camlan on October 11, 2012, 12:22:07 PM
Given the circumstances, and the way the military can change things last minute, I think the surprise idea is a good one.

OP, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that your brother does get the leave and that he is able to come home for the holidays. The best Christmas present ever!
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Acadianna on October 11, 2012, 06:45:43 PM
My son was in the military in Iraq, and I'd have loved your surprise idea, and especially the big wrapped box part!
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: KenveeB on October 11, 2012, 09:34:34 PM
Having your brother come home and surprise them won't ruin your parents' holiday, even if they don't particularly enjoy surprises. Knowing he is planning to come home, then having those plans cancelled at the last minute just might. I'd stuck to the surprise plan if I were you.

This is how I come at it. I'm also one of those for whom the anticipation is a big part of the joy of an event. But that also means that when I'm anticipating something huge, if that falls through then it absolutely ruins everything, even if it was otherwise a good holiday. Since the plans here aren't definite and military plans can certainly change SO much, I think a surprise is a great idea. If it comes through, it will be a great story that will make the holiday for everyone. If it doesn't happen, then no one (except the OP) is more disappointed than they would've been.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Rohanna on October 11, 2012, 10:32:25 PM
I think that we used to welcome veterans home with citywide parades and honor the fallen veterans with solemn ceremonies. Now we are mildly annoyed or worry about the disruption.

I think that bringing your brother home alive as a surprise gift (I like Outdoor Girl's suggestion!) would be the best gift you both could give your parents and worth *any* minor inconvenience.

Gorplady- search "Highway of Heroes" if you want to see a little old-fashioned respect for fallen soldiers. Makes me proud (and a little teary).
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: TootsNYC on October 12, 2012, 12:09:06 AM
I would absolutely attend a parade for soldiers coming home.

Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Army Mom on October 12, 2012, 09:34:08 AM
One vote for just go for the surprise!  No matter what plans I had, what gifts I'd bought, how much room I had, if my son walked in the door on Christmas Eve I would be over-the-moon happy  ;D

Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: afbluebelle on October 14, 2012, 12:28:13 AM
Given the circumstances, and the way the military can change things last minute, I think the surprise idea is a good one.



I agree with this... I've never made it home on a planned day. Ever. Better an awesome surprise than a crushing disappointment.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: TootsNYC on October 14, 2012, 02:45:09 PM
I can't imagine my family being "crushed" with disappointment if a military family member couldn't make it home for the actual holiday.

I think my own mother would rather know, and she'd be able to handle the "if the Army comes through" idea. And if it turned out that the leave was cancelled, I think she would have liked knowing that the child in question had really *wanted* to come home and had tried.

Maybe other families don't do well in a changeable world, but mine does.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: thedudeabides on October 14, 2012, 03:21:35 PM
I can't imagine my family being "crushed" with disappointment if a military family member couldn't make it home for the actual holiday.

I think my own mother would rather know, and she'd be able to handle the "if the Army comes through" idea. And if it turned out that the leave was cancelled, I think she would have liked knowing that the child in question had really *wanted* to come home and had tried.

Maybe other families don't do well in a changeable world, but mine does.

Was that last jab really necessary?  It's completely understandable to be disappointed when finding out that a loved one not only won't be around for a family holiday as planned but will, in fact, still be in a dangerous situation risking life and limb and has absolutely nothing to do with "doing well in a changeable world."
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: TootsNYC on October 14, 2012, 05:26:42 PM
I didn't think of that as a jab. I was thinking of my MIL when I said it. She doesn't do well in a changeable world--neither does my husband. If you tell him someone might visit, he asks what plane they're arriving on. My MIL doesn't enjoy plans that are "maybes"; it's as if she can't wrap her head around the concept.

And I know my mother *would* be disappointed.
But she wouldn't be "crushed," which is the wording that seems so weird to me.
Her holiday wouldn't be ruined. There would just be a disappointment amid all the enjoyable parts.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Zilla on October 14, 2012, 06:08:43 PM
I would be crushed if I was anticipating my own son coming home for the holidays despite knowing that there is a chance it won't happen.  I wouldn't fall apart but my holidays would be bittersweet that he could have been there but couldn't.  Vs.  Accepting ahead of time that he won't be home for the holidays, and making the best of it.  It will be a bit bittersweet but not sad at the missed opportunity.  But that's the beauty of this board.  Opposing views, trick is though not to belittle others for their views.  It's a hard line to toe.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: trailgrrl on October 14, 2012, 06:09:09 PM
Right now my son is in school for the Army.  Basically what I've been told is "You'll know if I'm coming home for the Holidays when I call you from the airport for a ride."  :P

He could be granted holiday leave when he finishes school or be late deployed to his unit overseas, we won't know until it happens.  As a parent, A surprise visit would be fantastic.  A planned visit would be fantastic.   All that really matters to me is that he is home, how he chooses to let me know does not matter.

Unless he brings a guest with him, then some notice would be nice  ;D
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: afbluebelle on October 14, 2012, 07:15:53 PM
I can't imagine my family being "crushed" with disappointment if a military family member couldn't make it home for the actual holiday.

I think my own mother would rather know, and she'd be able to handle the "if the Army comes through" idea. And if it turned out that the leave was cancelled, I think she would have liked knowing that the child in question had really *wanted* to come home and had tried.

Maybe other families don't do well in a changeable world, but mine does.

Wow... well, good for your family. My family (i.e. husband and son) would be pretty crushed if I were supposed to be home for the holidays and wasn't. Heck, most of my family would be. They would be understanding, but 4 year olds do not have the best logic and reasoning, so explaining it to him would be pretty rough.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: kareng57 on October 14, 2012, 07:21:15 PM
I can't imagine my family being "crushed" with disappointment if a military family member couldn't make it home for the actual holiday.

I think my own mother would rather know, and she'd be able to handle the "if the Army comes through" idea. And if it turned out that the leave was cancelled, I think she would have liked knowing that the child in question had really *wanted* to come home and had tried.

Maybe other families don't do well in a changeable world, but mine does.

Wow... well, good for your family. My family (i.e. husband and son) would be pretty crushed if I were supposed to be home for the holidays and wasn't. Heck, most of my family would be. They would be understanding, but 4 year olds do not have the best logic and reasoning, so explaining it to him would be pretty rough.


I agree, that last sentence (from the post you were replying to) does come across as pretty condescending.

I really don't see anything wrong with the original plan in the OP - it could always be said that "Ed thought he'd have leave for Christmas, we wanted to surprise you, but it didn't work out, at the last minute" if it indeed did not happen.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: TamJamB on October 14, 2012, 09:24:27 PM
I also saw it as a jab; and an untrue jab at that. Military families all function in a "changeable world."  They have no choice.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: thedudeabides on October 14, 2012, 09:27:23 PM
I didn't think of that as a jab. I was thinking of my MIL when I said it. She doesn't do well in a changeable world--neither does my husband. If you tell him someone might visit, he asks what plane they're arriving on. My MIL doesn't enjoy plans that are "maybes"; it's as if she can't wrap her head around the concept.

And I know my mother *would* be disappointed.
But she wouldn't be "crushed," which is the wording that seems so weird to me.
Her holiday wouldn't be ruined. There would just be a disappointment amid all the enjoyable parts.

Maybe it would have been better to specify that you were talking about something and someone completely different when we had all been discussing military families to avoid confusion.  But even with your explanation, it just comes across as a jab at a specific person instead of a jab at military families (and other members here) in general.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: trailgrrl on October 14, 2012, 10:39:04 PM
I also saw it as a jab; and an untrue jab at that. Military families all function in a "changeable world."  They have no choice.

Yeah, I kinda did too.   All I want is my kid home for the holidays.  If it doesn't happen, well that is the nature of the profession he chose.  But I would love it if it could happen.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Maggie on October 14, 2012, 11:20:41 PM
I know they are sappy and all over the place (so it seems) but I still love to see the look on someone's face when their soldier walks through the door or onto a field or wherever they are meeting them.  I can't help but shed a few tears every time I see this.  I even love the ones where the dogs greet their soldier as if they just walked out the door that morning to go to work. 

I absolutely think you should surprise mom and dad.  The main reason is because I know how things work with the military.  My daughter and son in law were both in the Air Force (now just my SIL is) and they haven't been home for Christmas in 5 years.  When there was a possibility two years ago she would be here for Christmas I was devastated when she called and said they could not be here.  Please surprise mom and dad and I sincerely hope the military cooperates and your brother is home for Christmas.  That would truly make it a wonderful Christmas for your whole family!
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: War_Doc on October 15, 2012, 06:26:06 AM
Maybe other families don't do well in a changeable world, but mine does.

This last sentence was totally unnecessary.  Making blanket assumptions, such as this one, adds nothing to the conversation and only serves to promote negative feedback.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: ettiquit on October 15, 2012, 04:23:38 PM
I'm sorry this thread is so volatile since the purpose is to best plan how to celebrate a holiday with a soldier stationed far away.

OP - it sounds like your family appreciates surprises enough that there's no real risk of it going badly.  It also makes sense to keep it a surprise since you won't know till the last minute.

If you can pull off putting him in a big box and have your parents unwrap him - even better! 

I really hope your brother is able to come home, and if he does, please let us know how it went.  :)
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Winterlight on October 26, 2012, 02:12:27 PM
I think if your family does handle surprises well it would be OK.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: camlan on October 26, 2012, 02:34:46 PM
I also saw it as a jab; and an untrue jab at that. Military families all function in a "changeable world."  They have no choice.

And not every member of a military family *chooses* to be a member of a military family. You can be born into one, your child/sibling can decide to join up. Certainly, some people chose to marry a military person, but the majority of people in military families didn't have a say in the matter. They just cope as best they can, just the way everyone does. It's just that different people cope with things in different ways.

Change happens a lot in military families. As a child with a military parent, I knew we could move with less than a month's notice, in the middle of the school year, to a country I knew nothing about. Absolutely nothing you can do but cope. Three months ago, my brother was told, after a year of suspense and back-and-forthing, that he was not going to Afghanistan. Guess where he is today? Hint: He's not in the US. My other brother was supposed to retire from the service this past August. Guess what? He's not retired yet, and can't get a firm date on when that might happen. And we were all excited that he might be in the US for Christmas this year and we could get the whole family together, which hasn't happened in over seven years.

You learn to cope with this sort of thing, but I've spent my entire life with at least one family member in the military and sometimes you get tired of coping and smiling when you don't feel like it and trying to make the best of things.

It would be nice for the OP's parents to get a happy surprise, if her brother gets leave, instead of a sad surprise if he tells them he's coming home and then he can't.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
Post by: Adelaide on December 15, 2012, 12:57:38 PM
My brother's officially coming home for Christmas! :) Luckily, he's told my father, aunt, and uncle about it and he has a ride from/back to the airport. He's doing the sensible thing and not banging on the house door at 11 p.m. when his flight gets in, and is staying with a friend that night. (My mother really doesn't function well with surprises late at night. :P ) I'm going to get him a few little things to put under the tree and have stuff ready to fill his stockings at the last minute. We do silly/little stuff for stockings at my house/grandparents' house.

I'm glad that a) it's not a total surprise and some family members are prepared and b) he only told a couple of people. He literally found out yesterday that he was going to be able to come home, officially, and was able to book a plane ticket. He's been yes/no/maybe/yes/absolutely not with me over the phone for the last few months.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #113
Post by: JenJay on December 15, 2012, 02:03:57 PM
Wonderful news!!!  :D
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #113
Post by: Iris on December 15, 2012, 02:22:36 PM
Best Christmas present ever!
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #113
Post by: thedudeabides on December 15, 2012, 02:38:03 PM
I'm glad he's coming home.  Merry Christmas to you all!
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #113
Post by: KenveeB on December 15, 2012, 06:21:21 PM
Woohoo! Merry Christmas! :)

Be sure to update us afterwards with how your parents reacted.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #113
Post by: cicero on December 16, 2012, 05:14:13 AM
yay! i'm happy for you and your family.
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #113
Post by: Cat-Fu on December 17, 2012, 10:02:50 AM
How wonderful! I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!!
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #113
Post by: rashea on December 17, 2012, 12:51:40 PM
Yeah for your whole family. Sounds like he's surprising the right people, and let others know ahead of time. Perfect!  ;D
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #113
Post by: ettiquit on December 17, 2012, 05:04:50 PM
Yay!
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #113
Post by: EnoughAlready22 on December 19, 2012, 09:47:49 AM
I'm so happy for you and your family! 
Title: Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #113
Post by: bopper on January 02, 2013, 01:22:17 PM
How did it work out?