Internet Backs Teen Boycotting Family's Harry Potter Themed Christmas

The Harry Potter franchise is beloved by millions the world over, spawning books, films, games and even stage plays in the years since J.K. Rowling burst on the scene with the first novel back in 1997.

Yet for some, the adventures of Harry, Hermione and Ron have proven the source of serious anguish. In a post shared to Reddit's infamous "Am I The A**hole" forum, a teen claiming to be from Utah has detailed how Harry Potter brought her family together—and how it's now in danger of tearing it apart.

According to the girl her mom "is a huge Harry Potter nut." Her parents actually met while discussing their love of the wizard on a chatroom in the early 2000s and eventually got married.

She said that since then, their lives have been dominated by Harry Potter and other things like Star Wars and the Marvel movies to the point where they decided to "embarrass us for life" by naming her and her siblings after characters from these franchises.

"It's honestly been hell," she wrote. "I have a stupid name and since we were little my parents have forced stuff like Harry Potter, Star Wars, Marvel movies, etc etc down our throats."

The teen said that as a result "every birthday, every holiday" they have had has been organized around their parents' "fandom," with Christmas being no different.

"Every Christmas [in] the days leading up to Christmas we have to sit down every night and watch Harry Potter movies," she explained. "So. F***ing. Boring!"

While in previous years she said she had been able to find things to do as a distraction from the films, this year her mom ordered the family to be "technology and distraction free" every evening.

Upset at the change, the teenager tried to skip the Harry Potter movie nights altogether by organizing to go over to her friend's house.

However, when her mom hear about this she "got really mad" at the daughter for trying to opt out of their "family tradition" and accused her of "rejecting her," saying: "You wouldn't exist if it wasn't for Harry Potter."

At this point, the teenager said she lost it with her mom and shouted at her: "Nobody cares that you were a big name in the Harry Potter fan club! I don't like Harry Potter! I don't like Star Wars! I hate Marvel Movies. They're all so boring, please just let me have my own interests."

She said the outburst came because she was "so frustrated" at their ongoing fandom which has also extended into Game of Thrones over the past few years.

"Everything is centered around some kind of movie or tv show or book series," she wrote. "Just once I want my family to band around something that DOESN'T have to do with media or these nerdy things."

After leaving the house, the teenager said her sister got in touch asking her to "stop with the theatrics"—but she has stood firm. "Just once I want to have a normal time watching normal Christmas movies and not having to pause for 'lightsaber battles,'" she said.

Given the cumulative number of fans Harry Potter, Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe have, you would have been forgiven for thinking her comments would instigate something of a social media pile-on.

However, quite the opposite happened—people agreed with her.

"Your post is a great warning for all those people still thinking about naming their kid 'Anakin' or 'Khaleesi,'" Kylesmittenhouse wrote. "You're allowed to have your own interests, and your parents aren't making life easier by forcing things they like on you."

MadameMimmm added: "I am really sorry your parents are this fixated on their fandoms. You have a right to your own things you like and I can imagine it sucks."

"I'm sorry my generation is dumb," AdrianeKay commented. "I love Star Wars but completely understand it's not for everyone and if I'd had it rammed down my throat I'd absolutely hate it. Please get therapy to help you deal with this. Your family sounds exhausting."

While the girl did receive overwhelming support for her actions, some still struggled to comprehend the idea that something they loved so much could be so toxic to others.

Accomplished-Sugar-7 said the moment she called Harry Potter "old nerd stuff really broke me 23 year old heart. I grew up reading those books."

Thankfully, some fans were able to see the funny side. Strawberryblondely, for instance, came up with a hilarious response to her post.

"If Harry Potter and Star Wars taught us one thing, it's that young wizards and jedis are destined to defeat the old regimes because they are untainted by old allegiances and ancient history and are ready to inherit the new world around them," they said. "Keep fighting the good fight."

Newsweek has contacted the original poster for comment.

While Harry Potter may not appeal to this particular teen, a study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology back in 2015 found children who read the Harry Potter books tended to be more accepting of marginalized groups in society.

As part of the study, researchers analyzed three age groups of readers. Thirty-four fifth graders were asked questions about immigrants before breaking into groups to read sections from Rowlings' books. The study found children from the groups focusing on sections of the book that addressed prejudice showed "improved attitudes towards immigrants"—though only if they were able to identify with the main character.

The second part of the study saw 117 high school students surveyed with the results identifying a correlation between those respondents who read more Harry Potter books and those who exhibited a more open-minded attitude towards homosexuality.

A group of 71 university students were then quizzed on the influence of Harry Potter on their views regarding refugees. The research found that while those students identifying with Harry were not more likely to be accepting of this disenfranchised group, those who had no connection to Voldemort were found to have a more positive attitude toward refugees.

Harry Potter continues to make headline news online with the 20th anniversary reunion special fast approaching. There's also the small matter of the man who is currently busy trying to make his very own real-life invisibility cloak.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
A still from "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." A teen has earned the backing of Reddit after opting to boycott their family's annual "Harry Potter" movie marathon. Warner Bros,

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