It seems a bit unfair to kick off with this one given Molly bought Ron’s mouldy-lace-trimmed dress robes second-hand and there wasn’t much choice, but we must acknowledge how deeply unhappy Ron was to receive them. You work with what you’ve got, sure, but it’s unfortunate that they were also maroon, on top of everything else.
Molly was usually generous with the sweet treats, so the mean little Easter egg she sent Hermione after reading Rita Skeeter’s article about the supposed Harry-Hermione-Krum love triangle in Witch Weekly was quite a departure. It offered a rare glimpse at Molly’s less charitable side, which did sometimes rear its head when it came to protecting those she loved, including Harry. You’d think Molly would have known better than to believe Rita Skeeter, but hey, nobody’s perfect.
The low-placing of this particular Weasley jumper should not be seen as indicative of its quality, because we’re sure it was just as cosy and warm as anything Molly ever knitted. But the fact that Percy took time out of his day to send his mother’s hand-made Christmas gift back, without a note and with no acknowledgment of his father being in hospital, leaves us thinking that was one jumper that might not have hung around in the wardrobe for long. Nobody’s perfect, yes, but oh Percy…
Every Christmas, Molly knitted a lot of jumpers, which must have taken a significant amount of effort even if she did use magic. And yet every Christmas, Molly knitted Ron’s jumper in a colour he didn’t like. Ron’s hatred for the colour maroon was well-documented, but for some reason Molly just couldn’t stop creating jumpers for him in that particular browny-red colour and we cannot really fathom why. Surely she could have used another shade, at least once?
Every Weasley jumper Harry received also came with a side order of sweets, and the one he got in Order of the Phoenix was no exception. We imagine Molly’s home-made mince pies were as delicious as her knitting was cosy, so yum yum for this one.
The second Weasley jumper Harry ever received also came with a tasty additional treat – plum cake. The fact that he received these gifts just months after crashing Mr Weasley’s bewitched car into the Whomping Willow did give Harry a surge of guilt as he opened the lumpy package, but surely the plum cake helped.
Fudge was the sugary companion of Harry’s first ever Weasley jumper, which was emerald green. It was also one of the first Christmas presents Harry had ever received, so extra points for that.
When Ron was made a prefect in Order of the Phoenix, Molly immediately wanted to reward him with a gift of his choice – much to Fred and George’s apparent chagrin. The result was a new Cleansweep Eleven, which was the very broom that helped Ron become Gryffindor’s Quidditch Keeper. OK, his time as Keeper might have been eventful, but his new broom gave him the confidence to try which is no bad thing.
With Harry, Molly seemed to have a knack of timing gifts at just the right moment. When Ginny delivered the handsome Golden Snitch-decorated Easter egg her mum had sent, as Harry sat in the library dwelling on the scene from Snape’s Pensieve that showed his father bullying Snape, it struck him so much he got a lump in his throat. This prompted him to tell Ginny he wanted to talk to Sirius, who suggested a way he might be able to do just that, and all thanks to a chocolate egg. Good one, Molly.
Most of the Weasley jumpers Molly knitted seem to have been plain, but she did also work some intricate designs, as with Harry’s Golden Snitch-decorated knitwear in Half Blood Prince. It was certainly better than another gift he got that year: a pile of maggots from his House-Elf, Kreacher.
There was another green jumper and more mince pies for Harry in fourth year, but this time the jumper had a picture of a dragon on it to commemorate the first Triwizard task Harry had completed shortly before. We imagine knitting a Hungarian Horntail required some serious skills, so we’re particularly impressed with this one, design-wise.
The Weasley twins’ festive jumpers in Philosopher’s Stone ushered in a whole new Christmas tradition for Harry, and the initial design was simple but effective. A true Molly Weasley classic.
This was officially the best Weasley jumper Harry ever received, because not only was it Gryffindor scarlet with a lion on the front, but it also came with a bumper selection of festive goodies: a dozen home-baked mince pies, some Christmas cake and a box of nut brittle, all wrapped up in one Weasley package. Delicious.
Ron’s original hand-me-down wand took a bit of a beating when he and Harry crash-landed into the Whomping Willow in Chamber of Secrets, so he was well overdue a new one by the beginning of his third year. So it was a good thing the Weasleys won that Daily Prophet Grand Prize Galleon Draw, hey?
Ron’s 17th birthday might have ended badly (it was the one where he accidentally ate love potion-spiked Chocolate Cauldrons, went to Slughorn’s office with Harry for an antidote, and ended up getting poisoned) but at least it started well, when he received the traditional watch from his parents. With its solid gold weight and mystical symbols, it was a special present made even more meaningful by the effort his parents went to to give it to him, when so much of Ron’s wardrobe consisted of hand-me-downs.
A few months later, Molly also gifted Harry a watch to mark his 17th birthday. This time it wasn’t new – it had belonged to Molly’s brother, Fabian, and it was a bit dented on the back. But whereas receiving a new watch meant a lot to Ron because he so rarely received new things, for Harry, the simple fact that the Weasleys had thought to acknowledge his significant birthday in the traditional way meant just as much to Harry as the watch itself. This gift was about a lot more than wizarding tradition. It showed just how much Molly cared for Harry, and that she saw him as one of the family. Harry wasn’t one to voice those thanks, but he tried to show it in another way, which Molly seemed to appreciate...
So thanks, Molly, for showing us the most important thing to remember when giving a gift: the recipient.