vulture lists

All 50 Christmas Gifts Given in the Harry Potter Books, Ranked

It makes total sense that J.K Rowling would choose to release more Harry Potter tales over the Christmas season, considering her original stories are by far the most festive of this era’s popular young-adult fantasy series. (You don’t see Katniss popping on a Santa hat, do you?) The wizarding world is not only obsessed with the festive merriment of the holidays — possibly to make up for the fact that poor, orphaned Harry had so many disappointing Christmases before arriving at Hogwarts — but that time of year is also often the setting for major plot events. It’s Christmas Day when Harry sees his parents in the Mirror of Erised in the Sorcerer’s Stone, when Hermione successfully brews Polyjuice Potion in Chamber of Secrets, when Harry overhears Professor Snape and Draco Malfoy’s chat about Voldemort outside Professor Slughorn’s holiday party in Half-Blood Prince, and when everyone suddenly discovered teenage angst at the Yule Ball in Goblet of Fire.

Christmas was also Jo Rowling’s time to spread thick the famously evocative feast imagery — “a hundred fat, roast turkeys, mountains of roast and boiled potatoes, platters of fat chipolatas, tureens of buttered peas …” — and, in the first three books, at least, give Dumbledore a generous helping of adorable chipolata-themed banter. And, of course, with the holiday season also comes the cavalcade of hand-knitted Weasley sweaters. Despite possessing a mountain of gold in Gringotts, Harry himself does not give half as many presents as he receives, but hey, there’s still a cornucopia of gifts to go around — some, of course, not as welcome as others. Behold, a definitive scorecard of every gift ever exchanged in the Harry Potter book series (and, presumably, off-camera in the films), from kisses to dungbombs to one-of-a-kind family heirlooms.

50. A box of dog biscuits, Aunt Marge to Harry, Prisoner of Azkaban

49. Maggots, Kreacher to Harry, Half-Blood Prince (At least they were wrapped?)

48. A box of poisoned chocolates, Romilda Vane to Harry, but inadvertently to Ron, Half-Blood Prince (When the wizarding world finally accepted the fact that Voldemort had indeed returned, Harry’s stock rose exponentially, but being “the Chosen One” also means that randoms try to feed you love-potion chocolates. Lucky for Harry, his roommate would literally eat anything found on the floor of their dorm!)

47. A toothpick, the Dursleys to Harry, Chamber of Secrets (accompanied with a note asking if he could possibly stay at Hogwarts for the summer holidays, too.)

46. A 50-pence piece, the Dursleys to Harry, Sorcerer’s Stone

45. A “bulging” bag of dungbombs, Ron to Harry, Goblet of Fire (Ew, Ron.)

44. A single tissue, the Dursleys to Harry, Goblet of Fire

43. Homework planner, Hermione to Ron, Order of the Phoenix

42. Handmade sweater, returned, Mrs. Weasley to Percy, Order of the Phoenix (Percy isn’t speaking to his family because he doesn’t believe that Voldemort is back until he’s murdering people on the Great Lawn. He is by far the worst Weasley.)

41. A computerized robot, Aunt Marge to Dudley Dursley, mentioned in Prisoner of Azkaban

40. A hand-painted portrait of Harry, Dobby to Harry, Order of the Phoenix (It looks like a gibbon with two black eyes” —Fred Weasley.)

39. Maroon handmade sweater, Mrs. Weasley to Ron, Sorcerer’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince

38. Perfume, Ron to Hermione, Order of the Phoenix (An uncharacteristically sentimental gift that is completely underrated by both author and recipient. “That perfume is really unusual, Ron,” Hermione said, mentally friend-zoning him for the next year and a half.)

37. Gold chain with the letters “My Sweetheart” dangling from it, Lavender Brown to Ron, Half-Blood Prince (Lav-Lav and Won-Won! #neverforget)

36. New Theory of Numerology book, Harry to Hermione, Order of the Phoenix

35. Uncle Vernon’s mustard socks, stretched from storing Harry’s Sneakoscope, Harry to Dobby, Goblet of Fire

34. Box of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, Ron to Harry, Order of the Phoenix

33. A talking diary that says, “Do it today or later you’ll pay!” Hermione to Harry, Order of the Phoenix

32. A furry brown wallet with fangs, Hagrid to Harry, Order of the Phoenix (You can’t put money in it, and also, just buy him a normal wallet, Hagrid. Not everything has to be a magical creature.)

31. Too-hard treacle fudge, Hagrid to Harry, Chamber of Secrets

30. Unspecified handmade sweater, the Weasleys to Harry, Order of the Phoenix

29. F- and G-emblazoned handmade sweaters, Mrs. Weasley to Fred and George, Sorcerer’s Stone

28. Unspecified handmade sweater and a plum cake, Mrs. Weasley to Harry, Chamber of Secrets

27. Golden-snitch handmade sweater and mince pies, Mrs. Weasley to Harry, Half-Blood Prince

26. Hungarian Horntail handmade sweater and mince pies, Mrs. Weasley to Harry, Goblet of Fire

25. Violet socks and a Weasley sweater, Ron to Dobby, Goblet of Fire

24. Box of Chocolate Frogs, Hermione to Harry, Sorcerer’s Stone

23. Flying With the Cannons book, Ron to Harry, Chamber of Secrets

22. Luxury eagle-feather quill, Hermione to Harry, Chamber of Secrets

21. Hand-carved wooden flute, Hagrid to Harry, Sorcerer’s Stone

20. A penknife, Sirius Black to Harry, Goblet of Fire (Do wizards really need penknives? This seems redundant.)

19. Chudley Cannons hat, Harry to Ron, Goblet of Fire

18. Quidditch Teams of Britain and Ireland book, Hermione to Harry, Goblet of Fire

17. Box of Honeydukes sweets, Hagrid to Harry, Goblet of Fire

16.  Broom compass, Harry to Ron, Order of the Phoenix

15. Patchwork quilt, Hermione to Kreacher, Order of the Phoenix

14. Gryffindor lion handmade sweater, a Christmas cake, mince pies, and a box of nut brittle, Mrs. Weasley to Harry. Prisoner of Azkaban

13. Toy model of a Firebolt, Nymphadora Tonks to Harry, Order of the Phoenix

12. Practical Defensive Magic and Its Use Against the Dark Arts book, Sirius Black and Remus Lupin to Harry, Order of the Phoenix (Guys, it’s Christmas, can we stop talking about the Dark Arts for literally five minutes?)

11. Homemade fudge, Mrs. Weasley to Harry, Sorcerer’s Stone (Gets its own special mention because damn, that sounds delicious.)

10. Fuse wire and screwdrivers, Harry to Mr. Weasley, Order of the Phoenix (More of a guilt gift, since Harry was worried he’d been possessed by Voldemort and attacked Mr. Weasley in his sleep, but of course, the Muggle-loving Mr. Weasley was ecstatic anyway.)

9. Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes package, Fred and George to Harry, Half-Blood Prince

8. A sparkly blue witch’s hat and a gold necklace, Fred and George to Mrs. Weasley, Half-Blood Prince (When Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes took off, Fred and George could suddenly afford to dress like eccentric wizard Willy Wonkas — or Harry Styles in 2014, whichever — and buy their mother extravagant gifts. Being one of the most wonderfully nurturing characters in fiction history, she definitely deserves it.)

7. Handmade odd socks with snitch and broomstick patterns, Dobby to Harry, Goblet of Fire

6. Golden-snitch handmade sweater, Mrs. Wesley to Harry, Sorcerer’s Stone (Yes, he got two snitch sweaters, but this one was pretty much the first proper Christmas present Harry ever received. Remember when he was 11 and all like, “Hey, what is this pile of wrapped things at the end of my bed?” and Ron is all, “Uh, those are presents, what’s wrong with you”?)

5. Christmas wreath of roses, Hermione to the graves of Lily and James Potter, Deathly Hallows (Spending Christmas Eve in a graveyard is a bit of a buzzkill, particularly when you’re surrounded by people covered in snowflakes singing Christmas carols and you’re being hunted by murderous racists. Although strangely, seeing his parents’ graves did give Harry some sense of closure. Witnessing a statue of his likeness smack-bang in the middle of Godric’s Hollow didn’t hurt, either.)

4. Harry’s first kiss, Cho Chang to Harry, Order of the Phoenix (Dumbledore’s Army turned out to be an excellent excuse for Cho and Harry to make eyes at each other for months while battling suits of armor. Because of their repressed English sexuality, nothing happened until just before the holidays, when they were alone in the Room of Requirement, except for a Dobby-made banner that says “HAVE A VERY HARRY CHRISTMAS” and some mistletoe. Cho is sobbing about her recently murdered boyfriend but then decides she wants to sob AND make out with Harry for half an hour. Despite Cho’s obvious distress, Harry still finds her hella cute — “She was very pretty even when her eyes were red and puffy” — so they kiss through the tears.)

3. Firebolt, Sirius Black to Harry, Prisoner of Azkaban (As a sort of “Sorry you think I betrayed your parents, but hey, I heard you like to fly” present, Sirius anonymously gifts Harry the Porsche of brooms. Worried about its origins, Hermione tattles, outraging Harry and Ron, and Professor McGonagall promptly confiscates the Firebolt to be examined for curses. Side note: Poor Hermione! First Ron and Harry mansplain why a fast, expensive broom is a cool thing to have, and then they get all mad when she’s cautious about Harry receiving random, potentially dangerous items in the mail.)

2. The Marauder’s Map, Fred and George to Harry, Prisoner of Azkaban (Although it technically belonged to Harry in the first place, the GPS-like Marauder’s Map was a great gift, allowing the trio to sneak into Honeydukes, enjoy a Butterbeer in Hogsmeade, discover that Peter Pettigrew is alive, ponder why Mad-Eye Moody was appearing on the map as Barty Crouch Jr., creepily check out what Harry’s ex-girlfriend is doing while they’re hiding in the wilderness …)

1. The Invisibility Cloak, Albus Dumbledore to Harry, Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry’s near-death-defying adventures would not have been possible without the aid of his father’s Invisibility Cloak. Like, none of them. Kid always needs to be invisible. Just about every third chapter, he finds a need to be invisible. Plus, of all the Deathly Hallows to receive as a Christmas present, it’s by far the best one. Imagine if you got that little rock.)

All 50 Xmas Gifts Given in Harry Potter, Ranked