Why You Should Re-Watch The Harry Potter Series For The Holidays, Because It's The Perfect Seasonal Experience
Now that Thanksgiving has passed, the real holiday season is about to begin. While your yearly routine might include things like stringing up lights around the house, hanging mistletoe in doorways, and filling your kitchen with gingerbread flavored everything, there's one tradition you should incorporate this year: re-read or re-watch the Harry Potter series for the holidays. Filled with wonder, magic, and hope, it's the perfect seasonal experience, no matter how many times you've already read or watched it already.
Whether it involves decorations and cookie baking or ice skating and snowman making, everyone has their own set of holiday traditions that help get them in the spirit of the season. My own annual routine involves swapping my autumn scented candles with winter ones, wrapping twinkle lights around just about everything, and curling up on the couch with a batch of homemade hot toddies while watching the Harry Potter movie marathon. I spend the month of December covering every inch of my house in holiday decorations, filling my oven with people-shaped cookies, and reading the Harry Potter books before bed. Sure, it isn't The Night Before Christmas or A Christmas Memory , but it is a wonderful, magical series that has the power to make me feel like a little kid again, and what better time to feel like a kid than during the holiday season?
For fans of the series, re-reading the Harry Potter books, or re-watching the films, is like stepping back in the past, to a time when you weren't weighed down with the stress and burdens of adulthood, but rather excited for all the possibilities your childhood and young adult life held. Experiencing Harry's revelations about his true identity and about the wizarding world acts a friendly reminder that you were once hopeful enough to believe in magic, too, and makes you wonder if maybe you still do. Like childhood itself, every page of the Harry Potter series, every minute of the films, is a new discovery of something incredible, whether it be a fantastical element beyond your wildest dreams or a heartwarming experience of love and friendship. It's a feeling of wonder and excitement that can only be matched by one other thing: the holiday season.
No matter what you celebrate, the holiday season holds the possibility of being a magical time of year where everything glitters and miracles (or magic) are real. It's the time of year where people come together to celebrate, to share, to believe in the goodness of the world. It's beautiful and touching, and that special feeling you get when it's happening is akin the the feeling you get when you let yourself step back into the magical world of Harry Potter.
Watching Hagrid walk through the door for the very first time with a cake and bits of magic is like watching Santa Claus come down the chimney with gifts and treats on Christmas Eve. Harry's stroll through Diagon Alley is akin to your own walks through shopping centers and down city street, only instead of a Nimbus 2000 or a snowy owl, you're gawking at the newest sled model, or, more likely, the latest tech gadget. Seeing Harry's face when he wakes up to discover he has presents on Christmas morning is like being a kid again yourself, a reminder of that gleefulness that only comes from seeing shiny presents wrapped up in bows from the people you love.
The Harry Potter holiday experience has everything you want this time of year to have — snow outside the window, delicious feasts, gifts, ugly sweaters, family and friends — but it also has the aspects of the holidays that aren't always easy to deal with. An emotional time of year, a lot of people can get the holiday blues, a feeling of loneliness, anxiety, or depression. They have the unfortunate side effect of reminding people not just of what they don't have or what they lost. Like a reflection in the Mirror of Erised, the holidays can be an isolating and bittersweet experience, but like any good book or movie, Harry Potter is there to remind you that you are not alone in the end. Comforting and familiar, Harry Potter is always there to not only act as an old friend, but to share a lasting message of hope, even in the darkest of times.
There are so many holiday movies and books out there, thousands of touching stories about love and friendship, magic and miracles, hope and the holiday spirit, and even though Harry Potter wasn't created to be one of them, it has become the perfect experience for the season.
If you want to feel like a kid again for the holidays, there's no better way.
Images: Warner Bros.; Giphy (3)