|"Is this all real? Or has this been happening inside my head?"
The topic of this article is of a real-life subject that has been mentioned "in-universe" in a canon source. The Harry Potter Wiki is written from the perspective that all information presented in canon is true (e.g., Hogwarts really existed), and, as such, details contained in this article may differ from real world facts.
- "Harry had never in all his life had such a Christmas dinner. A hundred fat, roast turkeys; mountains of roast and boiled potatoes; platters of chipolatas; tureens of buttered peas, silver boats of thick, rich gravy and cranberry sauce — and stacks of wizard crackers every few feet along the table... Harry pulled a wizard cracker with Fred and it didn't just bang, it went off with a blast like a cannon and engulfed them all in a cloud of blue smoke, while from the inside exploded a rear admiral's hat and several live, white mice."
- — Description of the Christmas feast[src]
The Christmas holidays were the time of the year when students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry had the option to go home via the Hogwarts Express for Christmas, or to stay in the castle. However, if one stayed, there were no classes for them to attend. The holidays were generally two weeks long.
Celebrations at Hogwarts
At this time, the school was decorated and the Great Hall was occupied with The Twelve Christmas Trees. On Christmas Day there was the feast, during which the remaining students and teachers tucked into mountains of roast turkeys, potatoes and chipolatas. The tables in the Great Hall were strewn with Wizard Crackers, wonderful crackers that sounded like gunshots when pulled and were filled with real sized hats, wizard chess sets, live mice and jokes.
For the Christmas holiday in 1984, most students (including Ben Copper) and Severus Snape left the school. Those who stayed were Jacob's sibling, Rowan Khanna, Penny Haywood, Bill and Charlie Weasley, Nymphadora Tonks and Merula Snyde.
There was a blizzard around Hogwarts during the Christmas holiday in 1985, due to Jacob's sibling's failed attempt of magnifying the Snowflake-making spell. Fortunately, the student managed to cast the counter-spell and end the blizzard before it greatly disrupted Christmas. They and Merula Snyde spent Christmas at The Burrow with the Weasley family. 
Charlie Weasley planned to return to The Burrow for Christmas in 1986, but got injured when decorating a Christmas tree in the Great Hall. Jacob's sibling helped Zonkos with some deliveries to repay Charlie's debt, and they made a holiday blancmange together to thank Professor Snape for managing Hogwarts and taking care of Charlie during his recovery.
- "After a meal of turkey sandwiches, crumpets, trifle, and Christmas cake, everyone felt too full and sleepy to do much before bed except sit and watch Percy chase Fred and George all over Gryffindor tower because they'd stolen his prefect badge."
- — Description of Harry Potter and the Weasley boys' Christmas in 1991[src]
Harry Potter chose to spend the Christmas holidays during his first year at Hogwarts, having no desire to spend the holiday period with the Dursleys. His friend Ron Weasley stayed with him, while Hermione Granger headed home to see her parents. The two boys investigated the Philosopher's Stone over the break. Ron's older brothers Percy, Fred, and George also remained at Hogwarts. The twins got into trouble for throwing snowballs at Professor Quirrell and pestered Percy by stealing his Prefect badge. All five boys received jumpers made by Mrs Weasley.
For Christmas, Harry received his late father's Cloak of Invisibility from Albus Dumbledore. While exploring the school under it, he discovered the Mirror of Erised, and took to gazing in it frequently, as it showed him with the family he never knew. On one occasion, Ron accompanied him, and saw a vision of himself as Head Boy and Quidditch Captain. Dumbledore advised Harry to stop, warning him that people had gone mad by living in dreams, and moved the Mirror.
- Hermione Granger: "There might be a way. Of course, it would be difficult. And dangerous, very dangerous. We’d be breaking about fifty school rules, I expect… What we’d need to do is to get inside the Slytherin common room and ask Malfoy a few questions without him realising it’s us."
- Harry Potter: "But that’s impossible."
- Hermione Granger: "No, it’s not. All we’d need would be some Polyjuice Potion..."
- — Hermione and Harry planning to use Polyjuice Potion over the holidays with Ron Weasley[src]
Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger all stayed at Hogwarts during the 1992 Christmas holidays in their second year. Hermione finished brewing polyjuice potion on Christmas Day, which the trio was planning to use to disguise themselves as Slytherin students so as to find out if Draco Malfoy was the Heir of Slytherin, and if he was opening the Chamber of Secrets.
Harry and Ron transformed into Gregory Goyle and Vincent Crabbe, respectively, while Hermione intended to transform into Millicent Bulstrode. However, she inadvertently added a hair sample from Bulstrode's cat, resulting in her partially transforming into a cat. As the potion isn't intended for cross species transformations, she spent the rest of the holidays in the Hospital Wing to return to normal.
Harry and Ron questioned Draco, who revealed that he was not the Heir, but wished he knew who it was so that he could help him.
- "Hogsmeade looked like a Christmas card; the little thatched cottages and shops were all covered in a layer of crisp snow; there were holly wreaths on the doors and strings of enchanted candles hanging in the trees."
- — Hogsmeade village around Christmas time[src]
Harry, Ron, and Hermione stayed at Hogwarts during the 1993 Christmas holidays in their third year. Harry received a Firebolt anonymously as a gift, and Hermione suspected it was from Sirius Black, who happened to be its true sender, whom everyone believed to be a murderer out for Harry at the time. Thus, Hermione reported it to Professor McGonagall, fearing that the broomstick was jinxed, which angered both Harry and Ron.
- "The Yule Ball is of course a chance for us all to — er — let our hair down."
- — Minerva McGonagall regarding the Yule Ball[src]
Much of the student body remained at Hogwarts during the 1994 Christmas holidays, as the Triwizard Tournament was being held at Hogwarts during that year. Along with visitors from Durmstrang Institute and Beauxbatons Academy of Magic, students who were in their fourth year or above participated in the Yule Ball, a traditional dance held on 25 December.
Harry attended the ball with Parvati Patil, though he had originally wanted to go with Cho Chang, who was Cedric Diggory's date. He overheard a conversation between Severus Snape and Igor Karkaroff that made him suspicious, as Karkaroff mentioned that his Dark Mark was burning — a sign of Lord Voldemort's growing power. Hermione attended the ball as the date of Durmstrang Champion Viktor Krum; a jealous Ron ignored his date, Padma Patil, and got into a row with Hermione at the end of the ball. Ginny Weasley was able to attend the Yule Ball in spite of being a third-year because Neville Longbottom asked her. While there, she met Michael Corner, who would later become her boyfriend.
- Hermione Granger: "Ron and Ginny say you've been hiding from everyone since you got back from St Mungo's."
- Harry Potter: "They do, do they?"
- Ginny Weasley: "Well, you have! And you won't look at any of us!"
- — Hermione and Ginny confronting Harry over his hiding away[src]
Just before the Christmas holidays of 1995, Arthur Weasley was attacked by Nagini, Voldemort's snake, while guarding the Department of Mysteries for the Order of the Phoenix. Ron, Ginny, Fred, and George Weasley, as well as Harry Potter, joined the rest of the Weasley family, aside from Percy, at St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries to visit him. They then departed to 12 Grimmauld Place for the rest of the holidays. This marks the first Christmas Harry stayed away from Hogwarts, which he felt justified as he was resentful of the tyrannical changes made by Dolores Umbridge.
Hermione Granger had gone home for the holidays, but when Albus Dumbledore sent her word of what had happened, she cancelled her skiing plans with her parents and took the Knight Bus to join Harry and the Weasleys. At Grimmauld Place, Harry was refusing to speak to anyone, as he suspected that Lord Voldemort might be possessing him and felt guilty over Arthur's attack, which he had a vision of while it was occurring. When Hermione arrived, she convinced Harry to leave his room, and brought him to Ron and Ginny, who had told her that Harry was "hiding from everyone". Ginny, having once been possessed herself, was able to assure Harry that Voldemort was not possessing him.
St Mungo's was busy over the holidays. On Christmas Day, the group visited Arthur again. Neville Longbottom went with his grandmother to see his incapacitated parents. Another hospital patient, Broderick Bode received a gift of a potted Christmas plant. Bode, an Unspeakable working for the Ministry of Magic, had been jinxed when Malfoy Imperiused him into attempting to steal a prophecy from the Department of Mysteries. When Bode began to recover, a Death Eater, Walden Macnair, sent the plant in order to silence him. What Healer Miriam Strout took to be a Flitterbloom was a Devil's Snare plant in disguise and it asphyxiated Bode.
- "Fred, George, I'm sorry, dears, but Remus is arriving tonight, so Bill will have to squeeze in with you two... Then, as Charlie isn't coming home, that just leaves Harry and Ron in the attic, and if Fleur shares with Ginny... everyone should be comfortable. Well, they'll have a bed, anyway."
- — Molly Weasley during the 1996 Christmas holidays at the Burrow[src]
Harry, Ron, and Ginny went to The Burrow during the Christmas holidays of 1996. Hermione, who was having a terrible row with Ron at the time, spent the holidays with her family. Bill Weasley, his fiancée Fleur Delacour, and Remus Lupin also stayed over for the holidays.
Molly Weasley was disappointed that Percy, her estranged son, was not going to join them. Thus, she was delighted when he turned up unexpectedly on Christmas Day, though it was with Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour. It soon became apparent that the Minister had only wanted to come in order to try to convince Harry to cooperate with the Ministry of Magic, which he refused to do. Scrimgeour, offended, soon left, along with Percy, whose siblings threw mashed parsnip at him.
Ron was also appalled when he opened the gift sent by his girlfriend Lavender Brown — a necklace with the words "my sweetheart" in gold. He was shocked that Lavender could think he would like such an item, and chucked it under his pillow. Harry received a parcel full of maggots from Kreacher, but declared that he still preferred it to Ron's necklace.
Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley did not return to Hogwarts for their seventh year, instead hunting down Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes. During what would have been their Christmas holidays in 1997, Harry and Hermione were camping alone in the wilderness, as Ron had left them following a row with Harry. On Christmas Eve, Harry and Hermione ventured to Godric's Hollow, where they were attacked by Nagini. In the meantime, Ron was staying at Shell Cottage with newlyweds Bill and Fleur, but used the Deluminator Dumbledore had bequeathed him to track down Harry and Hermione. He saved Harry's life and destroyed the locket Horcrux.
A few days later, the trio headed to the home of Xenophilius Lovegood in order to investigate a symbol and hoping that Luna Lovegood would be home for the holidays. However, Luna had been abducted by the Death Eaters upon leaving Hogwarts for the Christmas holidays, and was imprisoned in the dungeons of Malfoy Manor. Her father, desperate to get her back, attempted to ambush the trio, but they escaped, and Xenophilius was subsequently imprisoned in Azkaban.
Behind the scenes
- Due to the removal of St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries from the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the injured Arthur Weasley spends his Christmas holidays with his family at 12 Grimmauld Place instead.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Wizarding World
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 12 (The Mirror of Erised)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 1, "Christmas at Hogwarts" Achievement - Part 1, Side Quest "The Christmas Holidays"
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 1, "Christmas at Hogwarts" Achievement - Part 2, Side Quest "The Legendary Yeti"
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 2, "Christmas at the Burrow" Achievement
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 3, "THE GIFT OF GRATITUDE" Achievement
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 12 (The Polyjuice Potion)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 11 (The Firebolt)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 23 (The Yule Ball)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 22 (The Unexpected Task)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 16 (In The Hog's Head)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 22 (St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 23 (Christmas on the Closed Ward)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 16 (A Very Frosty Christmas)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 16 (Godric's Hollow)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 19 (The Silver Doe)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 20 (Xenophilius Lovegood)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 21 (The Tale of the Three Brothers)