Harry Potter Thanksgiving

I’m still enjoying the slothfulness of this weekend so will keep this brief. Just wanted to post some pictures of the cool Harry Potter-themed Thanksgiving dinner I attended.

My amazingly gifted friend Mari hosts a themed dinner every year and this time she transformed her home into Hogwarts. She made the flying Harry herself.

Guests had to come as a character from the series. Can you tell who I am? (The hair is a huge clue, though Poncho won’t need it.) My breadstick wand was spicy delicious and I ate at least five. Hey, Harry had to try out a few, too, before he found the right wand.

Mari also had a scavenger hunt for us to find HP artifacts, including Hermione’s Time-Turner, Neville’s Remeberall, the locket Horcrux, Ravenclaw’s Diadem, Tom Riddle’s diary, etc. Of course I showed no mercy to the kids participating—I think it’s condescending just to let them win—and came in first for most objects found. (I didn’t keep them.)

The centerpiece of the evening, though, was this gorgeous table, set to look like the Great Hall. If you look carefully, you can see a miniature Dumbledore to the left and Hagrid’s motorcycle in front of a Harry Potter Undesirable No. 1 poster in the center, shown in close up below.

Check out the pensieve and the flying keys from Sorcerer’s Stone.

Here’s a group photo. How many characters can you identify?

We all had an amazing time and owe a big thanks to Mari, who is as kind and generous as her character is evil.

If you celebrate it, how was your Thanksgiving? Hope you experienced some magic, too.



  • Reply
    Brett Battles
    November 27, 2010 at 4:59 am

    How incredibly cool! That table is spectacular. Wow! Now that’s a great friend to know.

  • Reply
    Naomi Johnson
    November 27, 2010 at 5:15 am

    Wow, that looked cool AND fun!

  • Reply
    Jen Forbus
    November 27, 2010 at 9:05 am

    I know almost nothing about the Harry Potter crew so I can’t begin to guess any characters except maybe Harry…even Hermione is eluding me there. But that’s pretty fantastic. The amount of work it involved is making my head spin. Thanksgiving with no extras is hefty. Mari is pretty spectacular!

  • Reply
    November 27, 2010 at 10:15 am

    WOW! okay…ten minutes have passed and I have almost recovered from my near-comatose state of depression! (The holiday season leaves me feeling inadequate.) Whew–I am exhausted just viewing the pics of the decor. Unbelievably gorgeous.

  • Reply
    November 27, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Oh Elyse…How fantastic! You guys look great. Thanks so much for posting…Mari really is sooo amazing isn’t she!

  • Reply
    Janet Rudolph
    November 27, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Fantastic! What great friends. Costumes terrific. Flying Harry Potter outstanding! What a great house, too! Table looks incredible!

  • Reply
    November 27, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    FANTASTIC!!! I see HP, Hermione (I think, anyway), Bellatrix Lestrange, Mad-Eye Moody, Hagrid and what looks like Delores Umbridge.

    I know who you are, but I can’t think of her name….ARGHHHHH!! I’ll be back.

    Wish I could have been there, looks like a lot of fun!

  • Reply
    Pop Culture Nerd
    November 27, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Hi everyone,

    Thank you for your comments. Your reactions of awe resemble mine when I first entered Mari’s home and saw everything. She had many more cool things I didn’t photograph—I try not to get too caught up in taking pics so I can just enjoy the experience—like Harry’s silver stag patronus, the Whomping Willow, the Snitch, the Sorting Hat, etc. It was all breathtaking.

    I see the challenge remains—no one has guessed who my character is! Anyone?

  • Reply
    Shell Sherree
    November 27, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    You all look fabulous, and the table setting is amazing! Mari is super-talented, not to mention generous. Happy Thanksgiving {belated} to you and yours, PCN! {As you changed your hair colour, any chance you’re Tonks? I know, a wild guess.}

  • Reply
    Brett Battles
    November 27, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Tonks was the one I was thinking of also, but couldn’t remember her damn name. Nice one Shell!

  • Reply
    November 27, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Wow! What a great event! Fantastic pix, too. BTW, my daughter wants to why you dyed her purple? Thanks.

  • Reply
    November 28, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    I KNEW you were TONKS!!! Really great!! I have now seen HP7 3 times and decided to re-read the book. Thanks for inspiring me.

  • Reply
    November 28, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Seems I am always late to the party….And what a party this must have been. Love the flying keys and pensive as well. BTW: Is that supposed to be the mirror of ERISED in near the table?

  • Reply
    Pop Culture Nerd
    November 28, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Way to go, Shell, for correctly guessing I was Tonks!! I chose her because she’s 1) an Auror 2) a member of the Order of the Phoenix and 3) she’s described as “pale and clumsy.” Perfect!

    EIREGO & Brett—Suuuuuure, you knew who I was. AFTER Shell posted the answer!

    le0—Is your daughter asking why I dyed my hair purple at all, or why did I pick purple over, say, pink? If it’s the first, then it’s because I was Tonks, who changes her hair color often. If it’s the second question, pink wasn’t available in the store and I thought purple would be more fun than the yellow or red that was on the shelf. I didn’t want something that resembles normal hair color.

    Reader#9—Yes, it was the Mirror of Erised, though it must not have been working because when I stood in front of it, I didn’t see Angelina Jolie reflected back at me. Hmphh.

    • Reply
      November 28, 2010 at 5:52 pm

      It was the first circumstance. As soon as I read your response, she thought it was way cool. Thanks.

  • Reply
    Pop Culture Nerd
    November 28, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Shell—I wanted to add this funny story. I was talking to a dinner guest at Mari’s who was dressed in a sweater vest, tie & tweed beret. I asked who he was and he said, “I don’t know anything about HP so Mari just said I’m Professor Lupin based on how I’m dressed.” I said, “Oh, you’re my husband!”

    His response: “EXCUSE me??”

    Me: “And I had your baby!”

    He slowly backed away from me.

    Poor guy. But that should teach him for not reading the books, right?

    • Reply
      Brett Battles
      November 28, 2010 at 4:48 pm

      Hilarious! He should have been banned from the party!

      • Reply
        Pop Culture Nerd
        November 28, 2010 at 5:06 pm

        I think he was thinking the same about me!

  • Reply
    Rick Grunden
    November 28, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Elyse, you are a Rock Star in every sense of the word. I mean only a TRUE Rock Star would be able to go strong for over 12 hours. I am sooooo glad as always that you (and Paul) were on my team for the trivia and bonus questions. I loved BOTH of your well thought out and creative costumes. Very authentic and again, you LOOKED like a true Rock Star. I am sincerely sad to have missed a single one of Mari’s infamous Thanksgivings since my first in 1996. My family’s Thanksgivings are amazing and I love to catch up when we can, but a part of me always is wishing I could have a Time Turner and experiencing both at the same time. Until next time. Thanks for your friendship.

  • Reply
    November 28, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Oh. Wow. That is so incredibly awesome, and that table setting is gorgeous! I wish I could see close-ups because it truly is magical.

    What a cool, fun group! I love Mad-eye. So gruff but so lovable. In the first pic, I thought you were supposed to be Snape with the dark hair parted down the middle, but then I saw the color. Too cool!

  • Reply
    November 28, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    As a previous invitee to more than one of Mari’s EXTRAVAGANZAS, I’m glad that she is receiving some worldwide attention, thanks to you….her celebrations are spectacular and every time I have gone to one of her parties, I think…”how lucky am I?” and “I wish others could see how fortunate I am to be have been an invitee” THANKS, PCN! (Now, you need to keep the Mari postings coming…)

  • Reply
    November 29, 2010 at 6:20 am

    Jaw-droppingly spectacular. Just, wow. √

  • Reply
    November 29, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    WOW!Tell Mari that she is an all-time goddess in my book. Here I thought I was doing well just getting the food to the table cooked at reasonably the same time and mostly hot — okay, warm-ish.

  • Reply
    Pop Culture Nerd
    November 29, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Rick—You are too kind, but if I were a rock star in the literal sense, I’d be able to hit those high notes in “Dream On” and I assure you I can’t. My neighbors would back me up on this. I’m glad we got to spend T-giving together. If you ever stumble upon a Time-Turner, I’ll wrestle you for it.

    jenn—Snape is the best guess ever! I’ll send you some close-ups of the table via e-mail.

    Bailey—lucky is exactly how I feel whenever I get invited to Mari’s.


    Ybnorml—You’re ahead of me. I have neither culinary nor interior decorating skills. Mari’s events are always master classes for me.

  • Reply
    December 3, 2010 at 6:19 am

    How fun was that?! Awesome, just awesome! Each time I look at one of your photos, I see some other HP detail. I mean, geez, all the photos on the wall! Brava, Mari! Does it all commute to a Yule Ball theme for Christmas?

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