Author Topic: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #113  (Read 23598 times)

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Adelaide

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How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #113
« on: October 10, 2012, 10:47:07 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.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2012, 01:57:56 PM by Adelaide »

Deetee

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2012, 10:50:39 AM »
I think it sounds great. But you know your family.

amylouky

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2012, 11:02:22 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..

Sharnita

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2012, 11:04:36 AM »
It sounds great to me.

sourwolf

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2012, 11:07:54 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.

JenJay

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2012, 11:09:31 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!"

Outdoor Girl

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2012, 11:10:27 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.
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SamiHami

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2012, 11:13:34 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.

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Shopaholic

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2012, 11:16:56 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.

CakeBeret

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2012, 11:29:37 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.
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Perfect Circle

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2012, 11:50:21 AM »
I would think it a fantastic surprise and would imagine gifts would not be on anyone's mind.
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gorplady

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2012, 11:54:28 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.

Moray

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2012, 12:00:25 PM »
What a wonderful surprise! Gifts shouldn't even enter into it. Being safe and together again sounds like a great "gift" for all concerned.
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Cat-Fu

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2012, 12:12:08 PM »
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. :)
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lowspark

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2012, 12:17:06 PM »
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!