Four Christmas Trees: How One “Harry Potter” Fan Made a Little Magic for the Holidays
The world has officially begun to segue from Halloween and into the early days of the long Christmas season. With a change in the air, many fans are starting to swap pumpkins for Christmas decorations. Heather Bezuidenhout got a head start on her holiday decorating with not one but four Harry Potter-themed Christmas trees. But her love for the Potter universe doesn’t end with tree decorating.
Bezuidenhout started reading the books when she was just in elementary school, and she says her passion took off from there.
It started in grade 4 (way, way, waaaaay back in 2000) when our class teacher read the first book to us as a class, and just a year later, the first film came out. Also, I had turned 11 the year the first movie came out, so I was the ultimate target demographic. It was a huge phenomenon that swept the globe, and it was irresistible! Each release of a new book or movie was marked on my calendar, and I remember being the only person in my tiny town at the bookstore at 6 AM when the last book came out.
Fast-forward to the present when Bezuidenhout found herself in quarantine lockdown looking for a project. The initial idea of a Harry Potter tree came when she was watching a DIY video on YouTube by Karen Kavett. From there, Bezuidenhout made ornaments using templates she found online, her own imagination, and even her two cats for inspiration. But she ran into a snag when she tried ordering the tree online.
I decided to place an order for the tree, and SIX ARRIVED! I moved to the Netherlands from South Africa, and my Dutch isn’t great, so I didn’t read the description clearly. Rather than return them, my husband encouraged me to just use them all. Unfortunately, two of the trees were broken, but it was okay, as I was running out of flat surfaces to put the trees on.
Each tree only stands at about 35.5 in (90 cm) in height, so her home wasn’t totally overrun by giant Christmas trees. But on the plus side, this posed a new challenge: How do you decorate four different trees? Heather decided to go with four different themes for each tree, which meant crafting specific decorations for each. In her kitchen is the Honeydukes tree. It has an assortment of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans and 3D-printed Chocolate Frogs.
Her Hogwarts tree has homemade mini spellbooks, Christmas poppers, and a 3D-printed Sorting Hat as a topper. She even added a LEGO Hogwarts Castle at the base of the tree for further effect.
The Dark Arts tree features Dolores Umbridge’s school proclamations, Sirius Black’s Azkaban prisoner ID number, and her cats (Spock and Ripley) posing as Umbridge’s cat plate portraits. This tree is topped with a 3D-printed Deathly Hallows ornament, and the Elder Wand sits at the base.
Finally, the Wizarding World tree is decorated with miscellaneous objects one can find throughout the books and movies such as “owls, copies of [T]he Quibbler and items from the Weasley’s [sic] household.”
The 3D-printed toppers and ornaments came from templates Heather and her husband, Henk, found online. Since they own a 3D printer, they just needed to download a template and let the printer create the piece. As far as the rest of the ornaments go, she said the hardest part was sizing.
The most challenging [ornaments] were definitely the books, as I didn’t want to stack sheets of paper. Instead, I made custom[-size] boxes to represent the pages, but getting the sizing perfect was the tricky part. Items like Umbridge’s proclamations and Sirius’s Azkaban sign were also quite tricky, as they were quite small and needed a lot of craft knife work and consisted of two separate elements of the image and the frame.
Despite Christmas not being her favorite holiday, Heather felt like this year was the year to go all out.
To be honest, it’s not really something I’ve ever been that jazzed about, but it’s been such a crazy year. We emigrated in April 2019, and being away from friends and family for another Christmas under such uncertain circumstances just made me want to do something positive and cheery to end the year.
Well said, Heather.
I’d like to extend a special thank you to Heather and Henk Bezuidenhout and their cats, Spock and Ripley, for sharing their Harry Potter Christmas trees with MuggleNet.
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