To prepare we watched all of the Harry Potter movies, starting on Dec 29th, a day after ABC Family aired the first movie for their final marathon before turning the series over to HBO. We ended the marathon with the last 3 movies back-to-back on Jan 3rd thanks to HBO Now. I cried, Jareth cuddled with me and rubbed my back, everyone had a great time.
At this point I had already been planning the party, but had to get down to business of actually doing things. So things were ordered on Amazon Prime, Walmart was raided for crafts, and invites were printed off. Because Jareth is a New Year baby, we always wait for school to be back in session before throwing the party so that he can invite classmates. This year, twice as many kids as usual attended and it was a blast!
Oh, before I talk about the party, I want to celebrate my little man. When I suggested that Jareth throw a party centered around an orphan hero, I went ahead and threw out the idea that he pick a charity, to give to those in need, in kind of memory of Harry and his second chance and becoming something great despite his beginning. It took Jareth a week to decide before he smiled, agreed, and listened to the charities I had to suggest. His birthday was then dedicated to New Leash On Life which takes in dogs facing termination and pairs them with inmates seeking a second chance. We were thrilled to get to raise money for them.
So, leading up to the big day I asked Jareth to take the Buzzfeed Sorting Quiz, to find out his Hogwarts house. But then I wouldn't tell him which house he was in. Because I wanted to sort him. Sadly the Sorting Hat was not to be, along with the Dementor Pinata. But Jareth was ok with their absences. As the kids arrived I had the ones who didn't know where they belonged take the quiz on my phone and I wrote down their houses and glued pins on the ties. Finally we were ready!
Before a student can attend Hogwarts they need a few things. So the kids had to pick out their wands:
Then we had the kids line up and I got to call out their houses. At that point I had an adult from each house standing there to pin a tie on the kid now in their house. I got to pin one new Hufflepuff! We are besties now!
My sister, Vicky. is a Gryffindor. She was over the moon that her nephew is now part of the house she loves so much!
We also played Pin the Nose on Voldemort, but I failed to get a picture. Our one Slytherin, pinned by her very proud Slytherin mother, won the game, despite taping the nose on sideways. It was very comical.
I think of it as a person win, not only because everyone had fun, but because EVERYONE had fun. I did a job well enough that my Harry Potter fanatic of a sister, who got me into the series way back in the day, was loving it. And my non-Potter fans, the kids I thought would remain muggles agreed to take the test and join in the fun. I was very rewarded by that since one of them turned out to be my Hufflepuff. I hope they take that excitement home and discover the magical wizarding world themselves.
It's been a while since I sat down after a party and felt more giddy than drained, but this was one such day. When everyone had left and I had cleaning to do, I just couldn't stop grinning. That's something amazing for me these days. And I love being able to share it all with Jareth. Livia, who is only 5, is eagerly awaiting her own Hogwarts party. And so am I!