Why Christmas Is the Perfect Time to Read “Harry Potter”
What’s better than spending Christmas with your favorite fictional characters? Christmas in the wizarding world is a grand event that includes some of J.K. Rowling’s most witty, heart-warming, and lyrical writing. Christmastime in the book series gives us readers a greater understanding of the wizarding world. More so, the holiday includes important plot points and memorable moments. You can read the Potter books at any time of year, but there’s something magical about reading the Christmas scenes during the holidays.
Despite the years when Polyjuice Potion and Dark magic attacked Harry and his friends, Christmas in the books is a happy time. Harry’s first year at Hogwarts, for example, was a brilliant example of festive times in the wizarding world. It’s well known that Rowling can craft some epic fight scenes and build tension in her stories. What’s even more impressive is how she can take a familiar and common celebration and breathe new life into it.
Christmas in the Potter books is similar to our Christmas in the Muggle world, but it’s just a step above, enough to make us wish it were real. These would have easily been filler chapters, but they instead have significant plot devices and give us some comforting moments with our favorite characters. For example, almost every Christmas present Harry has ever received saved the day or aided him later, with the exception of Weasley sweaters, of course.
Some of the best chapters to reread in the Potter books are the Christmas chapters because you always find details that you previously missed. One of the most famous moments is when Fred and George throw snowballs at Professor Quirrell’s turban. At the time, this seems like an extraneous detail in the middle of the chapter. Later on, the reader will laugh out loud when they realize that Fred and George threw snowballs at Lord Voldemort’s face! Also, there are examples of foreshadowing that you may not have noticed on your first read: the future importance of Polyjuice Potion in the series, Harry receiving one of the Deathly Hallows as a Christmas gift, and Sirius giving Harry a two-way mirror that will save Harry’s life in the final book.
What I believe is the most underrated aspect of the Christmas chapters are the character dynamics. During the holiday, the reader gets to see another side to their favorite characters. There is some humorous dialogue to break up the dark presence in the books, and we get to learn more information about the characters!
One of the best examples of this is with Sirius. Readers are quick to point out that Sirius lived a sad life with little joy in it. However, if you’ve read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, you’ll know that Sirius really enjoyed Christmas with Harry and his friends that year. If you can believe it, he even sang carols! The reader has reason to be delighted as well. The Weasleys, Hermione, and Harry spend Christmas at Grimmauld Place, and Sirius thrives among his friends. In that chapter, we saw a side of Sirius that hadn’t been present since his days with the Marauders. If you gloss over this chapter, you miss out on an important shift in Sirius’s character. Some other significant Christmas character moments include the start of Dobby and Ron’s friendship and Lupin sharing stories about James with Harry.
Christmas in the Potter books is equal parts enjoyable and intriguing. Rowling crafts enough scenarios and adventure into these chapters, but there’s also a break from deadly duels and dangerous wizards. All of the books make you feel right at home, what can be called a “comfort read.” The Christmas chapters are some of the most enchanting and uplifting sections. They complement the Muggle holiday and are a must-read for your holiday booklist! At the end of the day, no other book series has gifted us with seven unforgettable Christmases.