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Wednesday, December 15, 2021

The 2021 (Mostly Virtual) Yule Ball

With Covid still rearing its ugly head in the form of new variants and people still being irresponsible, this year PDXpelliarmus, a chapter of Fandom Forward (formerly Harry Potter Alliance) decided to keep everyone safe and go virtual for a second year for our annual Yule Ball. Last year's was a big success and this year we did it up even bigger, with workshops and book discussions, a tea party, and a pop-up dance party.

This year PDXpelliarmus, a chapter of Fandom Forward (formerly Harry Potter Alliance) decided to go virtual for a 2nd year for our annual Yule Ball.
This dress has a cape!

If you've missed my previous Yull 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 we raised money for Color Outside the Lines, a non-profit that brings art and other creative activities to foster kids. While Fandom Forward has decided to become more inclusive of other fandoms, our chapter - PDXpelliarmus - has tried to focus on Harry Potter, the fandom that brought us all together, and continue spreading the good message that we, the fans, are book 8 and the fandom belongs to us. We don't condone The Author Who Must Not Be Named's views on trans rights, because trans rights are human rights. Also, imagine how much better Harry's life would have been with art and music in the years before he went to Hogwarts.

I wanted to really bring in the Yule Ball feel with the silvers, whites, and blues. I ordered a customized backdrop through Zazzle, which I think I will do in the future for any other ones I want, because it was exactly what I wanted, including the larger size, and was faster than the others I've ordered, even from American sellers. I combined a few different kinds of glass pieces with twinkle lights to simulate the castle ice sculptures. I also got a clear glass owl to look like ice from a seller on Etsy. Unfortunately, it came in many pieces, but I put it back together with hot glue. I figured I only needed it for this anyway and it wouldn't be noticeable. 

I added some silver and white picks to a pot of herbs and also hung silver sparkly pine cones from my light fixture instead of the more traditional floating candles. A friend sent me a light-up Hogwarts, my tiered tea server is white and silver, and I have several silver tablecloths from when I did a Yule Ball birthday party. I also purchased these super cute Madam Puddifoot plates from Litjoy Crate. Unfortunately, they are sold out, but I highly recommend buying any of their magical goods. 

Here's the finished set-up, with a tea service from a local patisserie. We weren't able to work with any bakeries or tea shops to create a menu for us like we have in the past, because everyone is stretched thin and stressed out this year, and we completely understand. For this reason, I created a DIY feast menu for folx, if they wanted to really do Yule Ball up right at home. It links to recipes I've used in the past for my own Harry Potter parties. (Eric was the Hufflepuff House ghost, for those of you wondering.)

On Saturday night, our resident DJ, DJ Switch, spun us some nerdy tunes and we all had a dance party in our own homes over Zoom.  This is always a great time and I can't wait for next year when we're back in person.

That said, we did have a pop-up dance party on Sunday night to end our awesome weekend. It was very small, but that didn't make it any less fun. It was very cold and rainy, but we had hot Butterbeer, excellent music, and we danced our hearts out to keep warm and enjoy being with other people. We even had this awesome little cauldron tree. 

So, that was another part of my birthday weekend that I wanted to share with you. I hope you enjoyed it. I also hope you're all having a great December and holiday season. 

How are you celebrating the end of 2021?

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