Originally published on Pottermore
Published on Dec 7th 2018
Not feeling Christmassy? Perhaps we can be of assistance. Here are some of our favourite moments from the Harry Potter books that had us singing ‘God Rest Ye, Merry Hippogriffs’ from the rooftops.

The festive tradition of throwing snowballs at Lord Voldemort

Christmas was coming. One morning in mid-December, Hogwarts woke to find itself covered in several feet of snow. The Lake froze solid and the Weasley twins were punished for bewitching several snowballs so that they followed Quirrell around, bouncing off the back of his turban.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

What could be more Christmassy than throwing snowballs at the Dark Lord? Okay, probably a lot of things, but looking back at this scene in hindsight still makes us chuckle. Trust Fred and George to inadvertently target one of the Darkest wizards of all time with their pranks – what they thought was just an innocent turban was hiding something a lot more sinister.

The Great Hall Christmas decorations

The Hall looked spectacular. Festoons of holly and mistletoe hung all around the walls and no fewer than twelve towering Christmas trees stood around the room, some sparkling with tiny icicles, some glittering with hundreds of candles.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

The Great Hall has become an iconic venue for festive frolics, and the descriptions of the Hogwarts Christmas feast are always a salivating read.

A hundred fat, roast turkeys, mountains of roast and boiled potatoes, platters of fat chipolatas, tureens of buttered peas, silver boats of thick, rich gravy and cranberry sauce – and stacks of wizard crackers every few feet along the table. These fantastic crackers were nothing like the feeble Muggle ones the Dursleys usually bought, with their little plastic toys and their flimsy paper hats. Harry pulled a wizard cracker with Fred and it didn’t just bang, it went off with a blast like a cannon and engulfed them all in a cloud of blue smoke, while from the inside exploded a rear-admiral’s hat and several live, white mice.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

How can we ever compare with our own paltry Muggle decorations and boring non-magical crackers? Life isn’t fair.

Hogsmeade – just in general

Trust the wizarding world to have a location that is basically Christmas all-year-round. That’s the vibe that Hogsmeade gives off at any rate; the nearby wizarding village where Hogwarts students pop down for a bit of R&R. The sheer quaintness of Hogsmeade makes it perfect for a festive visit – whether that’s an awkward cup of tea with Cho Chang at Madam Puddifoot’s, or a pint of something mulled at The Three Broomsticks.

Hogsmeade looked like a Christmas card; the little thatched cottages and shops were covered in a layer of crisp snow; there were holly wreaths on the doors and strings of enchanted candles hanging in the trees...
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,

The rather extra Yule Ball

Everlasting icicles had been attached to the banisters of the marble staircase; the usual twelve Christmas trees in the Great Hall were bedecked with everything from luminous holly berries to real, hooting, golden owls, and suits of armour had all been bewitched to sing carols whenever anyone passed them.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,

In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the staff of Hogwarts started acting like our own anxious families on Christmas Day, turning the festive-ness up to eleven for all the incoming guests. At Hogwarts, which gets Christmassy enough, the ante was sufficiently upped – suddenly the suits of armour were even singing.

That Christmas where even Sirius cheered up

The tarnished chandeliers were no longer hung with cobwebs but with garlands of holly and gold and silver streamers; magical snow glittered in heaps over the threadbare carpets; a great Christmas tree, obtained by Mundungus and decorated with live fairies, blocked Sirius’s family tree from view, and even the stuffed elf-heads on the hall wall wore Father Christmas hats and beards.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

A slightly unconventional Christmas setting – but a Christmas setting nonetheless, Grimmauld Place was given a sprinkle of seasonal magic after Harry, Hermione and the Weasleys ended up staying there after Arthur Weasley’s near-escape from being attacked by a murderous Nagini. Er, Merry Christmas?

Alright, not so Christmassy – but the point is that the Weasleys, along with Sirius, transformed the dank, abandoned family home of the pure-blood-obsessed Blacks into something peppered with love and live fairies. A nice change from the Doxys, eh?

A bittersweet Christmas at Godric’s Hollow

They were standing hand in hand in a snowy lane under a dark blue sky in which the night’s first stars were already glimmering feebly. Cottages stood on either side of the narrow road, Christmas decorations twinkling in their windows. A short way ahead of them, a glow of golden streetlights indicated the centre of the village.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry and Hermione experienced a much darker Christmas, after their Horcrux hunt had reached a particularly desolate point: Ron had left, and Harry and Hermione had decided to visit the place where Harry’s life could’ve been so different – if his parents hadn’t been killed on that awful night at Godric’s Hollow.

As it transpired, the pair turned up at Harry’s brief childhood home at Christmas time – observing the bittersweet sight of Christmas decorations in the distance.

Just being back at Godric’s Hollow was an incredibly emotional moment for Harry, going to show that not all Christmasses will be happy ones, but can tap into our feelings in extraordinary ways.


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Originally published on Pottermore

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