With the Harry Potter film series coming to an end, it is the perfect time to celebrate the saga of the "boy who lived." Anyone who is a fan of the books or movies knows that Christmas plays a big part in each year to Harry, making it a wonderful time to bring his world to life in your own way. With these tips, your party is sure to be a huge success with both adults and children alike.
The party really begins with your invitations. Set the theme by decorating them with a feather or a wax seal, and include some funny line below the name in the address. For example, Mr. John Doe, The Cupboard Under the Stairs, 123 Main St, Chicago, IL 00000. Write the invitations in calligraphy, or a calligraphy-style font on your computer. Let guests be a part of the magic as well, by suggesting they wear a costume. Scarves with the colors of the Hogwarts houses are easy to find this time of year, or a simple cape can be made from black fabric at stores, like Joann, for less than five dollars. Perhaps, you could ask guests to use the money they would spend on gifts to purchase a costume.
Begin by decorating your party space. Harry Potter merchandise is everywhere, so it is easy to find anything from a small ornament to a life size cardboard Dumbledore figure. Start with the first thing people see when they arrive to your party- the front yard. If you have snow, make snowmen that resemble characters from the movie. Kids will love doing this and simple toy glasses or pine needle beards and scarves can do the trick. Reuse a Halloween inflatable spider in the front yard, or if you have trees in the backyard, by inflating it as the giant spider, Aragog, from the series. Incorporate the holiday theme by giving him a Santa hat or decorating him in garland. Make the front porch into Platform 9 ¾ by simply making a sign for one of the porch pillars, or place a “Welcome to Hogwarts” sign above the front door. By the parking area or front door, place some brooms against the wall to make it look as though some people arrived by flying. You can find cheap brooms and even write the Nimbus 2000 brand on them.
Inside the party space, make each room look like a place from the books. Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley, or the Forbidden Forest are all great choices. Another great option is to make each room look like a room from the Hogwarts castle. Using colors of the four houses (Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff), you can easily transform your space into a magical party area. The Christmas tree could be decorated in your favorite house colors, and include Harry Potter ornaments. If you have a train for under the tree, add a small touch by taking a square of the sticky part of a post-it note, and write Hogwarts Express on it. On the gift labels, write the names of characters, or make some labels that look like golden snitches. You can even take your jingle bells, glue some paper wings on them, and easily have festive golden snitches for your party. Adorning some stockings with names like Hermoine, Ron, Neville, Luna, or Harry is another small touch that guests will love. If you have a fireplace, take some ash from a previous fire, and place it in front of or under your grate, in the shape of a face, like how Harry talks to Sirius in the movie.
Another cute idea for decorating is to take pictures consecutively, moving a little in each one, waving for example, and then putting the photos in a digital frame and playing them on a slide show so it looks like the pictures in the frame are moving, just like in the magical world of Harry Potter. Every room should have candles in it, especially the dining area, which could be themed as the Great Hall. This is important to give the ancient feel of Hogwarts. If you have a chandelier or shelving placing them on there would be a good idea to represent the candles floating near the ceiling in the Great Hall. Using flameless candles is almost completely necessary to avoid any accidents. If you have fishing line, you could tie the flameless candles to the fishing line, and tack them to the ceiling to look like they are floating. If you can find anything ancient looking, like goblets or candle holders, they would add to the ambiance. Plastic chargers could be used instead of regular plates, and old books could be placed on a table as décor.
Even the bathroom could be a part of the atmosphere. The Chamber of Secrets was the plot of a whole movie, so why not make it a part of your party? Writing with a glass marker on the mirror in “parseltongue” or leaving a notebook as Tom Riddle’s diary are simple steps that will be loved by your guests. Other easy décor options are to find posters or any souvenirs from Great Britain, and place them in your space.
For the food, the best thing is to make it look like a lot, as the feasts look in the movies. You don’t need expensive food, as long as you provide a lot of options. Label the menus or buffet labels with titles from the movie, or make up your own that go with the theme. For example, your drinks could be butterbeer and polyjuice potion, and you could be eating Weasley wings. Mixed in with your regular Christmas cookies, decorate some to look like people and things from Harry Potter. For a cake, a Santa hat sorting hat is a fun idea.
If Santa is scheduled to make an appearance, why not have a Dumbledore Santa? They both have gray beards and it would be fun to incorporate the Potter theme into traditional Christmas happenings. If you have any stuffed owl toys, put some reindeer ears on them as part of his ensemble.
For gifts or parting favors, house colored scarves or hats are cute options. For something less expensive, dip pretzel sticks in chocolate and label them as pretzel wands. They won’t even have to say magic words to make them disappear! Anyway you go, there are many options to have a memorable party that everyone will surely love.