Magic and the Holidays

Can you believe it has been decades since the Harry Potter movies and books were released? I have so many happy memories related to that IP it’s crazy, but this Christmas I was able to add one more.

A few things you should know about my family and the holidays, first we don’t really do the whole gift thing. We’ve all done really well for ourselves and have what we want and need in life so instead we donate to charities for each other. Of course, there has to be “something” to unwrap so we’ve been playing Dirty Santa with funny small gifts for the past few years to comply with the seasonal consumerism. (Research says we get more excited by the surprise than the gift anyway.)

This year my brother-in-law selected the theme of magic. He was sort of put on the spot and wasn’t thinking about Harry Potter at all, but I certainly was. See, just before the pandemic I was able to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. (I had been wanting to go since it opened, but just hadn’t found the time.) While there I had plenty of adventures worthy of the Harry Potter stories, but one aspect was a HUGE disappointment…the candy.

You could say I’m strongly impacted by sweets so when I eat them I want them to be good. These were…not. For the most part the candy made me sick (too much corn syrup) and didn’t even taste good. By far, the most disappointing though were the chocolate frogs. If I had to put money on it it’s crapy Palmer’s chocolate but…not the important thing…

I saved my box, digitized it, and stored the idea of making my own chocolate frogs into the back of my head with the mess of other great ideas I have and didn’t think about it again until this Christmas. And so, I set out to surprise my family with a truly Harry Potter Christmas candy surprise.

I feverishly drew cards for each of my family members considering what their wizarding life would be like. I had a few weeks to do everything so there were certainly phases I would cut out if it got too down-to-the wire. First I was going to draw out the cards, then learn how to melt chocolate (and get it to set properly!), make the frogs, print out and fold boxes, get descriptions for each card, and finally…if there was time…I’d look at making lenticular versions of each.

I was stuffing chocolate frogs in boxes Christmas eve, but I have to say the end result was wonderful. I did have time to make some amazing cards AND lenticular ones too! To protect the names and humor of my family I’ve only included my dog’s card below, but you can use your imagination for the rest.

She was a great sport and posed for me to draw this…not that I don’t have a zillion photos of her already…
The back of her card and just a peak into the extensive mythology around my dog.
And here you can see the beautiful transformation thanks to lenticular printing!






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