What kid didn't grow up wanting to spend the holidays at Hogwarts? I challenge you to find someone in this world who wouldn't want to wake up to a stack of presents that included chocolate frogs, and an invisibility cloak. Hogwarts had a bewitched ceiling that brought pretend snow in the winter, and every English type of dessert imaginable — down to Harry's favorite treacle tart — and I wanted to try all of it. Plus, I desperately wanted to make a holiday trip to Honeydukes. While I outgrew the Hogwarts holiday fervor (to a certain extent), some of the best moments in the Harry Potter books happened around the holidays.
Whenever the cold weather came, regardless of what book you were on, there was something to look forward to. There was the Yule Ball, which was held on Christmas day, or the heartwarming moment when Harry gets presents for the first time, which is the same year he learns to play wizards chess with Ron. (Hermione gives him chocolate frogs that year, and Hagrid gives him a handcut wooden flute which Harry later uses to lull Fluffy to sleep.) And who can forget the Christmas where Dobby got him Quidditch-themed socks? Or the year Hermione got both Harry and Ron homework planners? You see my point. Hogwarts around the holidays was a damn good place to be. Here are 14 important lessons Harry Potter taught us about the holidays:
1. It Is The Thought, And Not The Present, That Really Matters
The Weasley's sweaters are a perfect example. It's always lumpy, and sometimes too small, and Ron always gets the weirdest colors — but it's the gesture that really matters, and Harry is just flattered to receive one.
2. It Is Always "Happy" Christmas And Never "Merry" Christmas
If you were born between 1987 and 1993, and you spent a lot of holiday time rehearsing the way Hermione says "Happy Christmas" (in the first movie) in front of your mirror.
3. Everything Is Magical When It Snows
There is a moment, when you watch the snowfall around the holidays, that nothing else seems important except the gorgeous falling snow. And then reality crashes back into the picture, and you remember that Voldemort is trying to kill you.
4. People Start To Realize They're In Love Around The Holidays
Cue the #engagement #content on Facebook.
5. But Holiday Love Doesn't Always Last
For every Ron Weasley, there are 10,000 surly Victor Krums.
6. When Family Gathers, It Can Really Test Your Patience
And usually, you find out you still love them. Unless it's your Aunt Marge, in which case it's best to blow her up like a balloon.
7. Opening Presents With Your Friends Is A Great Way To Blow Off Steam
After a difficult semester (or a difficult few months at work), there's no better way to relax than eating holiday cookies (or testing Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans) with your friends and family.
8. When There's Drinking Involved At Holiday Parties, It's Important To Try Not To Make A Complete Fool Out Of Yourself
McGonagall wants you all to be mindful of your eggnog consumption at the office holiday party this year. She doesn't want you to get shwasted the way the Fat Lady so often does.
9. You Have More In Common With Your Family Than You Think You Do
And that always comes out when you're spending a lot of time with them around the holidays. Even though Ginny wants to be a rebellious little babe, she has so many Molly Weasley characteristics, and we see that during the chapters when all the Weasleys are squashed into The Burrow together.
10. A Little Holiday Flirting Never Hurt Anyone
So go say hello to your Cho Chang — or even your Romilda Vane.
11. If You Want To Cause Trouble, The Holidays Are A Good Time To Sneak Around
And look for information on Nicolas Flamel in the restricted section of the library.
12. Holiday Decoration Should Be Taken Very Seriously
No matter what you celebrate, if you're not levitating menorahs, or ornaments, or whatever you like, you're not making the most of the season.
13. You Should Be Surrounded By Good Food And Cheerful Music
Just like everyone was through all of December in the Great Hall.
14. Fake Snow Is Crucial For The Holiday Season
Whether you need some to make sure the ski conditions are good, or you live in a warm climate and just want to pretend there's snow on the ground, you need to take a leaf out of Dumbledore's book. (Trust me, your roommates won't mind! ... I hope.)
Images: Giphy (14), Warner Bros