Surprises: A Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

Himmelsstürmer_staunenThis has been the friendly debate in my household lately. Are surprises a good thing or a bad thing?

My opinion changes depending on what kind of surprise we’re talking about.

Presents of any shape or size are a good thing in my book. You definitely don’t need to tell me in advance that I’m getting one, what might be in it, or what it might involve if it isn’t a physical item. (I like giving them, too, although I’ll save that topic for another day!)

A surprise party? Not so much. I really want to know ahead of time if I’m going to be spending an evening or longer in a large, noisy group, There are people who would be thrilled to walk into what they thought was a dark, empty room only to be suddenly surrounded by a hundred of their loved ones, though.

A smaller surprise party can be okay if I know everyone involved in it really well.

What about negative surprises? No, thank you. If you have something bad or off-putting to tell me, don’t beat around the bush. I want to know as soon as you can possibly get ahold of me. There is absolutely no reason to delay these conversations. They only get harder and more hurtful if you do.

Everyone has different preferences, of course, so I also like to find out how others feel about surprises before I even think about giving one to them.

My husband, doesn’t like them. When I do something nice for him, he wants to know about it as soon as the idea first tickles the back of my mind. I’ve always respect that wish of his.

I wouldn’t have a problem throwing a surprise party for someone who would absolutely love that kind of thing while also sending a picture of a gift I was planning to get for someone else who really wants to know everything ahead of time. This isn’t the sort of thing that has any kind of ethical dilemma attached to it. It’s simply one of those things that two equally reasonable people can have completely different reactions to.

How do you feel about surprises? Do you like planning them? Which ones – if any – do you enjoy being on the receiving end for?


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2 Responses to Surprises: A Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

  1. Sarah B.

    I’m 100% with you on the surprise party issue. Everyone in my family knows that I definitely am not a surprise party person. I also cringe at the idea of someone in my family telling people at a restaurant that it is my birthday or some other occasion so that everyone sings or something like that. No thank you.

    However, I have helped plan a surprise birthday party for one of my friends who likes that sort of thing, and that was fun.

    I definitely like to give presents as surprises. I love the anticipation of seeing the look on their face when they get their surprise. It is funny, but at Christmas with my in-laws I usually have to be reminded to open some of my presents because I’m too busy watching everyone else’s face as they open theirs.

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