A Muggle Parent’s Brush with Magic


Hogwarts SchoolIf you live with a Harry Potter fan (or are a fan yourself), you likely remember the scenes from the first book when Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is attempting to deliver an acceptance letter to one Mr. Harry Potter. After many delivery attempts are thwarted by Harry’s aunt and uncle, Harry finally receives his letter on his 11th birthday, and his life in the world of magic officially begins again.

For my daughter and her friends, whether or not they would receive a letter from Hogwarts on their own 11th birthdays became a frequent topic of conversation. Then, my daughter’s dear friend down the street received a Hogwarts letter on her 11th birthday! The level of excitement and the theorizing about how it arrived made it rival discussions about how a certain jolly old elf accomplishes his magic every December 25th, so we decided we would do the same when our daughter turned 11. After all, how many more chances will we really have to make a little magic for her?

I contacted my friend Amanda, the genius mom who managed a Hogwarts letter delivery for her daughter. After getting the information from her on where she got her letter, here is how two muggle parents managed a bit of birthday magic for our 11-year-old.

The Hogwarts Letter

While I am a fairly crafty person, when I saw the detail in the letter kit Amanda had ordered, I decided it was worth the money to order one rather than spend a ton of time creating these items myself. Make sure to order the letter with plenty of time cushion before the big day (note: the delivery estimate was accurate for when I placed my order to when I received it). Here is the company I ordered from, but I bet a quick search of Etsy or Google would result in many options. Our kit included “The List of Requirements, Platform 9 3/4 and Knight Bus Ticket, Runic Spell Chart, List of Spells, and of course the personalized envelope and letter addressed to the bedroom the recipient resides.”

Hogwarts Swag

My daughter had outgrown one of her Harry Potter shirts before her birthday, so I had it on my radar to buy her a new Harry Potter shirt as a gift…and then I found one that actually said Hogwarts and had the school emblem! I tied a little ribbon around the sweatshirt and we leaned her letter on it. I remember getting a t-shirt from my college alma mater when I was accepted, so I loved the idea of gifting her a school-themed item with her acceptance letter.

Setting the Scene

Owls deliver the post in the world of Harry Potter, and our son has a large collection of owl stuffed animals, because they are his favorite animal. We collected all of the owls from his room the day before the birthday, and then the owl “gang” was surrounding the letter and her wand when she awoke.


My daughter came out of her room wearing the new Hogwarts sweatshirt and a huge smile, clutching her still-unopened letter. She told us all about the owls watching over her letter, and with all of us surrounding her, she opened the envelope. She read through all the details and kept exclaiming over what she was reading. Afterward, she called a friend and talked over every detail for about a half an hour. Amanda’s daughter was very relieved to hear a letter had also arrived at our house. It made me a little misty, I admit, imagining a similar scene in the future when she is figuring out what her plans will be after she graduates from high school…and also happy to have planted one more little magical moment into her childhood.



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Kahla hails from Wisconsin, but heard the siren (loon?) song of Minnesota calling as she selected a college. Then, after eight years living in the Boston area for graduate school, her family moved to Rochester in the summer of 2010. Kahla and her husband have two children: one daughter and one son. They enjoy spending time outside, especially on Rochester’s hiking and bike trails. She loves finding inexpensive ways to pass time, and also enjoys her favorite form of recycling: shopping at thrift stores and yard sales. An avid reader her entire life, working as a school librarian is the perfect fit for her outgoing, book-loving personality. She also enjoys running, baking and knitting. She loves spending time with her family, book club, and running group.