J.K. Rowling became a part of our family many years ago. It began with me reading aloud the Harry Potter books to our very young children. If I felt a part of the book was too violent or too dark for the kids at their age I would change the wording or leave that particular part out all together without altering the story.
The kids would put their PJ's on, grab pillows and blankets and crowd around the chair as I read. It was something we looked forward to as a family. I read by flashlight and campfire while camping, we listened to audio books while traveling on vacations. Our goal was to read the book, then go see the movie. Sometimes this would work, and sometimes we were so anxious to read the next book and we couldn't wait for Hollywood.
This past week we marked the end of the Harry Potter series. We watched the last Potter movie at the midnight showing with great friends. We closed a very long chapter in our lives, which we have enjoyed dearly. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. The kids are at an age now that Potter doesn't hold the excitement it once did and all good things do come to an end.
I personally have been to Universal Hogsmeade twice and plan to visit many more times. It was amazing to walk through Hogsmeade with our kids, drink an actual Butter Beer. Ride a broom stick and play Quiddich. Walk through Hogwarts and feel as if we actually were walking through all the Potter books. It brought the past 12 years to life and sharing it with our kids was magical.
I feel I have connections to this series for many reasons, but here are a couple big ones. One, it has been something I have held dear to my heart because of the journey we took as a family with Harry as he grew up. Our kids grew up with him and we looked forward to seeing how the story would end.
Two, I love stories where good over comes evil... don't we all? I loved Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. J.K. Rowling is a Christian and if you have followed the entire series it is amazing to see the story of Christ in her story. The story of love, faith, courage, friendship, trust, loyalty and it is very obvious in this last book the message she is sharing.
We felt since this was the last movie we should do something a little more special than just seeing the midnight showing. We decided to have a Potter Party complete with Butterbeer. It was so fun.
We arranged our furniture in our front room theater style, popped pop corn, cranked up the surround sound, ate pizza, drank Butterbeer and watched Deathly Hallows part 1 with other fellow Potter fans before heading out to see part 2 at midnight.
Our teaching pastor Laura Buffington joined us for our party as well as the midnight showing. We currently are in a movie series at church called Southbrook goes to the movies. Deathly Hallows opened the weekend Laura was speaking so she was the lucky one to speak on it. Lucky because she too is a Potter fan so she was given the opportunity to "research" and speak on something she enjoys, but not lucky because J.K. Rowling has at times been controversial in some Christian circles. She did a beautiful job and if you would like to listen click here.
Potter will continue to be a warm fuzzy in our lives. Warm because of the family unity his story brought to our family, and warm because his story shares so many similarities to the greatest story ever told. Thank you J.K. Rowling for your creativity and for a wonderful 12 year journey.