The 10 best Harry Potter spells to use this Christmas

So the holiday season is upon us and with it comes promises of people being merry, goodwill and warmth bringing joy to all and carols and seas of multi colored lights brightening each festive evening. But in this story book description of all that the holidays represents, where do we fit over crowded shopping malls, annoying family members that visit once a year and holiday routes that are more congested than the worst of rush hour city traffic into the picture? Indeed the holiday season could do with a good dose of the magic that it is meant to represent – and wouldn't it be fantastic if we could grab our wands and borrow a few spells from the world of Harry Potter (no doubt a firm favorite under the Christmas tree for many years running) to make the holiday season as easy as it ought to be? A muggle (non magic folk for the non Harry Potter folk out there) can only dream, and these are the spells that such dreams would most likely feature:

1. Engorgio

It seems that we live in a world where bigger is often seen as better – so this spell, which is used to enlarge objects, would be perfect for increasing the joy of the holidays in a variety of ways! Buying Christmas gifts would be a cinch, as portable televisions become giant rear projection displays, and poor excuses for stuffed animals hanging from key chains become the biggest teddy bears that little Katey or Jenny have ever seen. Buy little Billy the cheapest telescope you can find, and "Engorgio!", he will be looking at aliens on faraway planets in no time. And let's not forget that the holidays are a time for sharing and social gatherings – a pack of instant soup, a slice of bread and a small chicken drumstick combined with some Engorgio magic and you'll be ready to feed half the neighborhood (or your entire family at least). The possibilities are endless.

2. Point Me

Lift your wand and say it with conviction, "Point me!" This little spell will lead you anywhere you want to go – and with all of the holiday invites that you'll no doubt be getting (or perhaps with the cross country holiday venue that you've chosen to visit) this will be invaluable in ensuring that you reach your destination. Of course your wand will only be acting as a compass so you'll need some sort of idea of your general heading, definitely not the ease and accuracy of a Garmin, but who needs a Garmin when you're trying to create the magic of the holidays? Even Santa needs a little magic to get all those gifts delivered – with the amount of speed that it takes for the poor man to visit every chimney in the world, a Garmin would most likely still be recalculating his co-ordinations to number 7 Pivet Drive while he's already completed the entire neighborhood and is on the way to another state!

3. Mobilicorpus

Christmas is a time to be merry – and some people take the merry and sherry combination a little too far. Let's say uncle Earl comes over, the one with the nose redder than Rudolph's who loves to get into the spirit of things – especially the type of spirit that's served neat and over ice. At some point the jolly old man is bound to give his final Christmas cheer and land face first next to the fire place for his customary four hour nap. No more getting the family members to haul good old uncle Earl to the nearest bed or sofa. A simple "mobilicorpus" and his body will float gently to wherever you choose to lay him down. This would work fantastically for the after lunch "zombie" party – where everyone is too full of turkey and Christmas pudding to do anything more than grunt or roll over. Turn those grunts into a single "mobilicorpus!" and the trip to the bedroom will require no strenuous leg work at all.

4. Lumos

Christmas is all about golden tones and a warm atmosphere – and nothing sets a better mood than some good lighting. Normally some candles or a fireplace would create the ideal setting – or at least a fake fireplace or some dimmer lights if you must. But this will surely not suffice for the magical Christmas that we are trying to create here. This is where Mr Potter and his fabulous world gives us "lumos". Say it with your wand in the air and the tip will light up brighter and more magically than any candle or energy saving bulb that you can get your hands on. I don't know about you, but I would definitely be more impressed by a group of carol singers who showed up at my door, held up their wands and gave a synchronous "lumous" before proceding. Magical indeed.

5. Relashio

It's that special time of the year when we forget what the holiday season is actually about and try to find the answer in gifts, gadgets and the latest shopping mall trends. But hey, we're only human, and getting and giving "stuff" is all part of the fun, even if it does mean January will be a good month for beans and instant soup. So your significant other just happens to be a huge Ricky Rocker fan, along with the three thousand other Ricky Rocker fans in your home town – all wanting THE must own limited edition Ricky Rocker limited edition DVD set containing rereleases of old songs, two covers and a fancy postcard signed by the man himself. The local music store gets them in stock for Christmas – a whole twelve of them. You don't need to be a mathematical genius to realise that this is a problem. Or is it? Not when you have the "relashio" solution. Walk into the store, look out for the nearest crazed fan clawing their way from the human hurricane of kicking, punching and screaming and headed triumphantly to the counter – point your wand their way and say "relashio". She'll release that limited edition set from here previously vice like grip with the greatest of ease. Better luck next year Betty.

6. Reparo

Here's a little gem for those who want to buy the whole family fantastic gifts but are on a shoestring budget. With the reparo spell at your side, you'll be shopping for complete rubbish – but you'll be wrapping up pristine, expensive items. Need an iPod? Pick one up from the poor guy on Ebay who's selling it for parts after accidently dropping his in the loo then turned it into a single buttoned iMelt by trying to dry the parts in the oven. As soon as it arrives in the post, point your wand, state "reparo!" and the device will fix itself – good as new. A trip to the local pawn shop or junk yard and the possibilities are endless – you'll be the gift giving champ of the town. Just don't tell your sister that her new cell phone was found under a pile of rotting banana peels and something resembling a beaver.

7. Colloportus

Simple yet very effective, that's what this spell is all about. Between the processes of buying a gift, wrapping a gift, and giving a gift is the stealthy task of concealing a gift. Whether it's a nosy partner, an inquisitive child or just an unfortunate "stumble upon" – finding the right place to hide a gift is a vital component of gift giving. Colloportus makes this a thing of the past, as any door that finds itself the target of this spell will be completely impossible to open (by muggles at least). Cast this spell on your cupboard door and not even Extreme Breaking and Entering for Dummies will help your loved ones to get a sneak peak of what they will be getting under the Christmas tree this year. Once you're ready to open up the cupboard – "alohomora" will do the trick. And what if everyone else in this make believe Christmas can use magic too? Then it's best that you find the nearest witch and wizard and ask them to teach you a good vanishing charm – just don't forget where you left those gifts!

8. Diffindo

This is another simple yet effective spell – completely unnecessary but that's the name of the game when you're using Harry Potter spells to magic up your holiday season! Yes, unwrapping (or absolutely destroying the outer layer of a gift, as some would call it) is a time honored tradition when it comes to gift giving, and is all part of the experience – but what magical Christmas would be complete without being able to watch the wrapping paper tear and rip its way off your gift on its own? Diffindo will do just that – just don't get too carried away, or that trendy sweater knitted by auntie Holly (number twelve in your collection no doubt) will be seamless and sleeves before you can say…"oh dear".

9. Scruge

Here's a spell that just has to be included in any self respecting "Harry Potter spells to use during Christmas" list. Thank goodness the real Ebenezer Scrooge didn't have this one to play around with or Charles Dickens classic would have ended very differently indeed. A wave of a wand and a solid "scruge!" will destroy any ectoplasm in sight – ghost homicide in short. If ghosts are eating your Christmas tree and flinging you and your children around the kitchen like rag doles, or even flipping TV channels wildly while you try to watch "Dinner for One" for the forty eighth time, then go ahead and "scruge" away. If the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future happen to show up on Christmas eve and want to teach you valuable lessons (the likes that changed Ebenezer for the better), this probably means that you hate all things jingly and belly, and now that you have the tools to eliminate them for good – it's no use trying to get you to listen and these classic ghosts will be no more. My apologies to Mr. Dickens for including this one in the list.

10. Reducio

The final spell from the world of Harry Potter that features on this list is also the spell that will be needed the most at the end of the holiday season. This is the time of the year when one feels a little less guilty about that extra serving of peppermint tart, mince pie or any other manner of rich and decadent Christmas treats. Who wants to watch their weight and worry about abs and buns of steal while on holiday – that's what new year's resolutions are for. Or at least, that's what new year's resolutions were for. Enter reducio. If, at the end of the holiday season, you find yourself wondering where that extra chin came from, or why the buttons and button holes at the top of your trousers have become distant cousins – this is the spell for you. Say it with joy, as the end of the holiday season has never been this easy, "Reducio!" and whatever your wand points at will return to its normal size. Of course this may lead to a new type of new year's resolution that reads: I will reduce my "normal" size. But then, some things just have to be done the non magical way.