I don't have any experience yet, just thoughts.
Like you, I'm feeling like, to avoid potential conflict, I just won't tell some people until after. But DH keeps reminding me of how, in the past, when we've made surprising choices (like getting married, moving to europe) without explaining them to (close to us) people, our loved ones ended up feeling alienated, worried for us, and even angry. DH says he thinks it's best to tell them our choice, why we're making it, and that it's non-negotiable. We're just telling them so they're informed, so they feel a part of things, but they don't get to change our minds, or try to do so. And though I like to avoid drama, I think I agree with him. I think we'll be open with the ones who care, and if they get upset, just remind them it's our choice. When it comes down to it, and we've got healthy babies in our happy arms, what can they say?
I love the idea of an information package! Anyone else done this? What would/did you put in it?
Azadehhast - That is a good approach. I have an interview with a midwife tonight and I am going to ask her about her approach to that sort of thing too. For an information package I just would include maybe a bullet list of the benefits of home birth. Perrhaps a couple articles prefereably by MDs saying the benefits of homebirth etc. MY parents just love, love love, traditional medicine, so if I have information from traditional doctor stating the benefits of homebirth that would be most helpful. But I like your approach of "This is our decision, please don't try to change it...all we are doing is sharing information with you.