Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Birthday Bash #30: The Tridecade Tournament

I turned the big 3-0 this year, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to throw my biggest (and, by far, most complicated) theme party yet.

I thought long and hard about this year's theme but, ultimately, decided that there would be nothing so appropriate as one of the great obsessions that defined my 20s: I'm talking, of course, about Harry Potter.

But this wouldn't just be a Harry Potter party, oh no. This would be the Tridecade Tournament, featuring an elaborate game with rules of my own making (I told you it was complicated).

Now, the thing is, about half of my friends are really into Harry Potter and the other half (pour souls) have never read the books. My goal was to ensure that everyone had a magical time, whether wizard, squib or muggle.

So...first there was:

The Decor

Floating Candles

Appropriate Literary Imbibements
House Banners

Which, of course, gets us to the Sorting:

This is what it looks like when a Dementor gets sorted.

Everyone was sorted into one of the four houses, naturally. I, as the host, remained unsorted and therefore impartial.

You try brewing Polyjuice Potion in your second year and then you talk to me!

And then the games began!

Task One: Physical Challenge

I readily admit that I stole all of the ideas for these games from Minute to Win It.

Here they are attempting to stack 6 dice onto a popsicle stick.
There was also a whole box of Oreos that succumbed to a cookie-stacking-on-the-forehead challenge, and other tasks that involved a variety of items ranging from pantyhose to cereal boxes.

Task Two: Trivia

With categories like Name that Ging and Vocabulary Transfiguration everyone could put their noggin to the test! It should come as no surprise that Ravenclaw did pretty well on this round.

Name that Ging. And, no, I have no idea what face that is I am making. It might be after-effects of the Polyjuice.

Task Three: The Biggest Ham Round

We started off with a British accent challenge which I realized halfway through I could not actually judge because everyone was so good and/or hilarious.

And, finally, the costume contest which was voted on by all party attendants. The winners were:

Luna Lovegood
Wizard Chess Piece
And, for your viewing pleasure, here are some other fantastic costumes:


A witch trying to pass for a Muggle
Professor McGonagall's Patronus
And the ultimate Tridecade Tournament winner was...'re not going to believe this but it was Hufflepuff!!

That's right. The underdogs swept in there at the end by nabbing spots 1 and 2 of the costume contest. (Ravenclaw was leading for most of the game. Slytherin came in last because, as we all know, evil never prospers.)

I think, of all my theme parties, this ended up being my favorite. I really have my friends to thank for being awesomely good sports about all of my mad ideas. It made turning 30 a whole lot easier.

Now...on to figure out what crazy shenanigans I'll have going on next year. I sincerely hope no one thought turning 30 would stop me!

*Special thanks to my friend Julie who pulled a Colin Creevey and took most of the photos you see here (all the good ones are hers!)


  1. OMG, that's so amazing. What was I doing on my 30th? Not having an awesome theme party, that's for sure. I'm officially requesting that you think up a theme for my next birthday. It's in August so you have some time.

    What's that you say? You've got things to do, books to write, your own life to live? Yeah, alright, BE that way about it. I'll just get a year older without your help, thank you very much. *sniff*

    Seriously, your party looks like it was so much fun. Enjoy being 30.

  2. Au contraire, Suzanne! I live for coming up with and throwing theme parties...

    For an August birthday party for you, I'm thinking...a big blue box, drinks of sonic screwdrivers and a couple of pepper pots fashioned with plungers and whisks.

  3. Ravenclaw was robbed!! Caw! Caw!

    Also in the picture of Deb and I stacking dice on a popsicle stick my mom was very concerned when she saw that picture because from a distance it looks like I am smoking something questionable.