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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Going Back to Hogwarts

December is always a very busy month for us, with my birthday, and parties, and Christmas brunch and Yule Ball. This year has been different, but no less busy. In fact, we even still had our White Elephant brunch (via Zoom) and attended Yule Ball (virtually) for charity. We went back to Hogwarts...with friends...from home.

If you've missed my previous Yule Ball posts, check out 2019's pictures, 2018's, and 2017's. This is always a great event that raises a large amount of money for charity. This year was much smaller, and all online, with cheaper tickets, but we were still able to raise a ton of money for TransActive Gender Project. The Portland chapter of Harry Potter Alliance is trying it's hardest to combat the negativity from JK Rowling over the last year or so regarding trans people, because we actually believe in equality for all people and recognize trans women as women and trans men as men. We feel that donating to causes that she is against, but are wonderful and valid, we're doing our part as Book 8 to take back our fandom.

While everyone couldn't be at a ball with everyone else, we made it a weekend-long event, which included two dance parties by DJ Switch on Twitch, a Triwizard Tournament where champions did a list of tasks for points - just some of the tasks were making an owl out of a toilet paper roll, making a picture frame and pretending to be a moving portrait, doing the Beauxbaton's ribbon dance, and imagining a new Hogwarts class - competitive book trivia via an app on Twitch, a story time on our YouTube channel, a bookmark competition, an online raffle, and even a pick-up, take-home feast from a local bakery that created a special menu for this event.

On Friday we dressed up, went to pick up our feast from Hungry Heart Bakery, then came home to our decorated house and set out our food and got ready to rock out. Then we ate and had a mini dance party in our living room. 

On Saturday, I watched people post amazing Triwizard task entries on the event page, then tuned in for story time with a witch reading tales from Beedle the Bard. We reheated some leftover feast food (you don't think we actually ate all that, did you?) and then tried our hand at book trivia. 

On Sunday, I helped tally points for the tournament to choose our winners. Then later we got back on Twitch to rock out again, with our closing party, featuring nerd wrock music. We all learned about some great bands we hadn't heard before. This is also when all our tournament and trivia winners were announced, and all the raffle winners were pulled.

On Monday, we still had some of our feast leftover, so we had an unofficial 4th night of Yule Ball. While untraditional, like everything else this year, this was a fun and creative weekend that was low stress and a great way to end this year on a high note.  

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season, regardless of what you celebrate or don't. If you're looking for something to do this weekend, one of our local theaters is streaming their 2019 recorded showing of Die Hard: the Musical Parody. If you want to help keep a great venue alive and have a blast at the same time, this is definitely a good place to spend your money. This is a annual tradition for us now, and I'm glad we have the opportunity to still do keep that up.

How's everyone celebrating the end of 2020?

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