Harry Potter and the Day of Thanks

Have I mentioned that Thanksgiving is MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY? After a few years of it petering out as most of my family got married/moved houses/had kids, my siblings and I decided to take over the proceedings for ourselves and make a huge thing out of it. That means massive amounts of food. Games. And THEMES. Because what’s more fun than a costume party?

Last year it was Thankvengers: The Winter Solstice. This year we decided on Harry Potter and the Day of Thanks. What’s that, you say? Harry Potter is in England and has no Thanksgiving? Never fear! In this holiday fanfic, the entire cast is on a field trip to America. And every book is happening simultaneously. Accept it and move on!

For better or worse, Thanksgiving is an all day affair. Everybody comes over by 10 or 11 (or already lives there…) and we decorate the hell out of the place and cook half the day, inevitably eating dinner later than expected and wondering why we didn’t make lunch. Then, when everyone is good and comatose, we play games. Usually there is some combination of Mario Kart and Loaded Questions, the former designed to trounce children and make them cry, the latter designed to kick kids out of the room so we can indulge in filthy jokes at each other’s expense.


When I say we decorate, I mean WE DECORATE

This year we had 8 adults and 6 kids. Help, they’ve nearly outnumbered us!! To start the festivities, we lined everyone up and sorted them into Houses. For the sake of fair competition, we had one kid and one adult in each House (leaving out the kids too young to care and a few adults to cook and judge the games).


And leaving Snape to judge your choice of beverage.

We played a few rounds of corn hole Quidditch, which ended up being more challenging than expected because apparently nobody knew what corn hole was.


Look at this little cheater. Slytherin for sure.

There was also a backyard hunt for the Golden Snitch, which ended in tears. Sorry kids, THERE IS NO CONSOLATION PRIZE IN QUIDDITCH.


House Points: the ultimate motivator.

Of course, the Harry Potter world isn’t all frivolity. There were some escapees from Azkaban lurking around, ready to cause trouble:


We’re looking for HAAAARRYY POTTERRR.

And everybody got freaked out once or twice glimpsing a certain pink-suited spy in our window. (Don’t worry, I’m definitely not keeping her around the house to hide inside cabinets and windows and other startling locations…)


Oh helloooooo

It was great, and I love everyone, and we made way too much food so in the end I could only take a few bites of each dish, and by Sunday night I swore off Thanksgiving leftovers for all time because ungh, when do we ever need that much ham?



Oh and Sirius Black peeked in on the proceedings at one point, too.




harry potter re-read

harry potter covers

The covers I grew up with

Oh Harry Potter! I got on the bandwagon a couple of books in, I believe because my brother and mother were reading them. From Book 4 or 5 through the end I was reading them as they came out. It was such a big deal when the last book came out! We were buying a single set for the home, naturally, which meant the four people in the house hooked on the series by then had to schedule different reading times to share it. I remember frantically reading through the end one afternoon, sniffling over some death scenes, and everybody around me yelling, “OH GOD, DON’T TELL US WHO DIES!”

I received a lovely box set of the series for Christmas, since I tragically never owned my own copies. Since then I’ve been rereading the series, basically for the first time since they were released.

The first four books were pretty much as expected, their general contents having been reinforced in my mind by the movies (don’t worry, I won’t be doing a book vs. movie blow-by-blow here). I lost interest in the later movies, though, so those books have been more of a trip.

Order of the Phoenix:

This was my least favorite of the series when I was in high school, and that impression still stands. The entire plot revolves around Harry acting like a shit to everyone and not doing what he’s told. Now, I fully acknowledge that this is valid character development for a teenager who has been through the traumas he had been through. That doesn’t make it a fun read, though.

My shift in focus: the death of Sirius was still sad, and I felt for Harry, but the character of Sirius wasn’t quite as sympathetic as when I was younger. This time around, the scene that actually made me cry was much earlier on: when Molly Weasley tries to get rid of a boggart at headquarters, and they find her hysterical because it’s taking on the form of her children all murdered? Ooh I wept.

Half-Blood Prince

My main memory from my first time reading this book was, “The one with all the snogging?” This time around it didn’t seem so prevalent or overbearing. Harry wasn’t such a dick to all his friends, so kudos there. I still don’t buy Ron and Hermione’s relationship. And of course: Dumbledore nooooo. Dumbledore you had all year to give Harry a rundown about this stuff, why did you pace it ouuuuut.

Deathly Hallows

I’m only partway in, so I probably jumped the gun a bit writing this post. For now I’ll just say: Hedwig noooooo.

Ahhh I finished Deathly Hallows and it was a great re-read. I’m glad I went through the series again. I definitely spot some of the plot crutches now (Harry conveniently overhears a LOT of crucial information in increasingly unlikely circumstances, culminating in him accidentally stumbling across Griphook in the middle of freakin nowhere in the woods). But it’s still a wild ride, and I got emotional at the end anyway.

I love that everyone gets their moment. It’s such a big cast, the ending is a 200-page rollercoaster that has a lot to wrap up. But you still get Neville v. Nagini, and Molly Weasley kicking Bellatrix’s ass with one of the badass mom lines of all literature: “Not my daughter, you bitch!” Ungh yes. That right there makes me want to write a blog about Ellen Ripley, my favorite movie character of all time, which I’m sure I will do at one point. I just have to gear up to it and really do her justice.

wardrobe reboot

I finally caved in to my changing silhouette and bought some new clothing. My pants and button-up shirts have been steadily shifting to the “these will fit again in 6 months I hope” side of the closet. My work wardrobe in particular has been growing slimmer as I grow rounder.

This is going to be the winter of warm dresses and skirts, and I’m pretty stoked about it.  I’ve finally gone from vaguely pudgy to cute potbelly and I may as well take advantage of it.

TO GET TO A POINT. One of my dresses is TOTALLY a Slytherin dress in green, gray, and black stripes. And as my sister and I began to joke about pregnant teens at Hogwarts we wondered… which house would produce the most teen pregnancies? Slytherin are so ambitious, I can’t see the girls in particular willing to give up their life goals to risk dallying with the boys. Likewise, Ravenclaw are all overachievers on the college scholarship track. They are probably messing around like mad to relieve the studying stress, but they are being smart about it.

That leaves Gryffindor and Hufflepuff. Hufflepuff are hardworking, friendly, loyal, and honest.  Now, does that equal a bunch of romantics who don’t mind the notion of settling down into the lower or lower-middle class with their high school sweetheart and surprise baby? Maybe, maybe. Gryffindor, on the other hand, are full of daring, nerve, and chivalry. And as the books indicate, they can be bullheaded and maybe make dumb decisions out of confidence/idealism. Daring behavior plus rash decisions? And then sticking with those decisions due to a sense of chivalry?

Oh yeah, I’m definitely leaning toward Gryffindor here.  All them babies wearing red and gold. I can also see Hufflepuff girls being wooed by Gryffindor or Slytherin boys– the former would stick by her, the latter wiggle his way out of the mess, insisting he can’t possibly be the father and slamming her reputation around school.

And Professor McGonagall teaching sex ed, all dry wit and embarrassing the shit out of all the kids with her detailed descriptions of anatomy. Oh yeah, what the Harry Potter series really needed was sex ed class.