Last May (2008) my son was invited to a Harry Potter birthday party. He was not quite 5 and had no idea who Harry Potter was. We happened to have the movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone so we told him we'd watch it prior to the party so he would have some idea of what it was about. We picked it for Friday Family Movie Night but Evie, she was 7, REFUSED to watch it and wouldn't even stay in the room. Somehow she had it in her head that it was way too scary.
She watched a different movie alone upstairs but came downstairs after her movie was over. She caught a glimpse of Harry Potter, asked a series of annoying questions while we attempted to watch the rest of the movie and was hooked. Instantly. She went from a Harry Potter hater to a Harry Potter lover in minutes.
That's when the obsession started. She would BEG many times a day to watch the movies. The first the second the third....it didn't matter. And if we did agree to watch one of the HP movies it still didn't stop the begging and pleading for more than the few hours the movie was on.
She started making decorations out of paper and putting them all over the house (see pictures below). The Goblet of Fire, Moaning Myrtle, even making a life size petrified Hermione in a bed. Over the summer I remember her standing on the grass with the broom on the ground and commanding it "Up!" "UP! "UP!!!" over and over again just like Hermione does in the movie. She was a new reader and had been really into the American Girl books. Now she was begging to read Harry Potter and I had to force her to finish the American Girl books we'd already bought that she'd previously begged for. That was probably a mistake as it made Harry Potter even more desirable.
The Harry Potter birthday party talk started but her birthday was a LONG way off. "We'll see" I'd say all non-committal like. "I'm not sure about that Evie." "Let's talk about it when your birthday gets closer". I thought there was no way she's STILL want a Harry Potter party come February. After all, her last birthday party was Fairy Paper Dolls. Her favorite color is pink. And only a few months ago she'd been terrified by Harry Potter. Sometimes in life things change fast.
She also started talking about Harry Potter costumes for Halloween. She of course would be Hermione, Adrian would be Harry Potter (he even got a scar on his forehead later in Kindergarten just like HP). She needled us so incessantly that after many months we finally agreed and my husband Steve dressed up as Professor Dumbledore and I dressed up as Professor MacGonagall. Even the baby of the family, Ainsley, who had just turned 2, was Hedwig, Harry Potter's owl. I knew it was a little crazy but it was kind of fun.
Evie checked Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone out from the library at school and started reading it during their reading time. She finished her American Girl books and asked for the Harry Potter books for Christmas. By January had started reading the 3rd book. And by this point she'd begged and pleaded and seen all of the movies so she knew the storylines so well that she could work Harry Potter into the dinner conversation EVERY single night. It became a joke. Harry Potter became known as HP for short and I must have said "No more HP talk!" a thousand times.
But the rest of us do also like Harry Potter. Have enjoyed the movies. Are excited about reading the books together and so we eventually agreed that okay, Evie could have her Harry Potter Birthday Party. I would just try not to get carried away as I had in years past. We were going to keep it simple. Ha!
But as the creative juices flowed we started come up with more and more cool ideas and soon I recognized that things had the potential to get WAY out of control. Yet at some point there is no turning back.
So that is the story of how How It All Began and how we ended up throwing this crazy party.
Evie's Paper Decorations From That Summer (She was a little obsessed.)
A crest for the front door.
The Goblet of Fire
The sorting hat.
A cauldron and potion jars.
A Must Have- Hogwart's H's for the Dining Chairs
The restricted library.
But you can't see the play kitchen in the library. That would never do.
The Mirror of Erised
The girl's lavatory.
The snake and Tom Riddle diary.
A giant spider and the Weasley car.
Harry Potter glasses.
A life-sized petrified Hermione in the infirmary bed.
And, of course, her flowers.
And my favorite- Ink and quill made with a real pencil lead so it really writes.
And yes this was all her idea, and I did not help at all. And all this was long before the party, just because she's Evie and this is what she does for fun.