A Harry Potter Christmas!

Happy holidays, everyone! I’m still in the middle of festive celebrations, as we have some family “dos” scheduled this week. And then, of course, there’s New Year’s, although Ward and I have been so busy, we haven’t actually figured out what we’re going to be doing on New Year’s Eve.

My Christmas Day was all about Harry Potter, because this is what I found under the tree:


I’d had this book on my wishlist since I first heard about it (I think it was on Twitter), but it was one of those “yeah, maybe one of these days” kind of things – after all the decluttering book-wise we’ve done this year, I felt strange about forking over such big bucks for a big coffee table type of book. But Ward decided to pick it up for me for Christmas, and am I ever glad he did!

I spent most of Christmas Day curled up on the couch devouring Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey. It’s one of those books where, when you come up for air, you say to yourself, “And a wonderful time was had by all.” (Well, at least, that’s what I usually say to myself when I find myself immersed in a really good read.)

The parts I like best? The occasional mentions of J.K. Rowling’s contributions to the filming process, like this bit about the Black family tree:

“Within the house is a tapestry that reveals the entire history of the Black family. The tapestry is mentioned only briefly in the book but needed to be fully constructed for the film. So David Heyman called Jo Rowling to get details about the Black family tree. Within fifteen minutes, she faxed him a complete family tree for the house of Black, with over seventy-five names going back over five generations, all complete with dates of births and deaths, marriage details, and even the family crest and motto.”

It really dawned on me after reading this, how Rowling did more than simply write the Harry Potter books. She also created extremely detailed material about all aspects of Harry Potter’s world, and even though these details might show up in the series in brief mentions, or perhaps not at all, they clearly infuse the books with a realism that plays no small role in their appeal.

Know what I would love to see? A volume devoted to all of this supplementary material. Wouldn’t that be just a lovely peak inside the creative process of this very extraordinary writer?

Ward also got me the final movie in the Harry Potter series; when it came out this year, I went to the theatres to see it twice. I think it’s one of my favourites in the entire series. I haven’t had a chance to watch it again yet, as Christmas Day was given over to the reading of Harry Potter Page to Screen, and then right after Christmas, I had to dig deep into my deadlines again, but I’m definitely looking forward to it.

How were your holidays? What bookish delights did you find under your tree?

6 thoughts on “A Harry Potter Christmas!

  1. Dorte H

    Oh, what a splendid gift!

    And it is good to hear she was involved in the process in that way. Small wonder the films were well done then. Far too often brilliant writers have been disappointed by the way directors maltreat their story – and with good reason.

  2. Molly

    How Belle – this sounds terrific!

    I have declared 2012 as the year of Harry Potter. I have yet to read the books (only made through the first two), but I have recently purchased the entire series in hardback – and I also received all 8 movies in Blu-Ray for Christmas. It is my goal to read a book and watch the corresponding movie in chronological order. Hopefully I will accomplish this over the next twelve months.

    Perhaps after I have read and watched them all – I will be ready to tackle this delightful gem.

    Glad to hear you had such a wonderful holiday!


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