Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me the First Week of December?

Happy Monday! I am so sleepy! The sun is down for 15 hours now, and I also want to sleep for 15 hours. Why must I live by the clocks instead of the sun??? I’m so tired!

Here is where you get to ask me anything you want! From “how do they celebrate Christmas in India?” to “what is your favorite Indian Christmas movie?” Just keep swinging back to this post all week as you think of new questions.

Now, question for you!!! What is your favorite Christmas movie?

I come from a White Christmas family. My mom saw it when she was 4 years old and it made a big impression on her. We watch it as a family every year. Oh, and also The Muppet Christmas Carol. That’s a good one. And The Grinch (cartoon version, obviously).

57 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me the First Week of December?

  1. It’s my birthday today! I’m Khan years old. That will never not feel EXTREMELY SIGNIFICANT to me. I don’t have a favorite holiday movie because I’m not a big holiday fan in general aside from the food and getting to ice skate.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Just watched Soorarai Pottru, Suriya’s movie based loosely on the founder of Deccan Airlines, which BTW, just shut down due to Covid. It’s wonderful. He’s amazing in it and his wife played by Aparna Balamurali, is an actress I’d like to see more of. I highly recommend it to DCIB’ers and woud love to see your comments. (No need of a review unless you’re so disposed.)

    And, can’t wait for A Suitable Boy coming to Acorn. It’s direcred by Mira Nair and stars Ishaan Khatter who’s such a natural, endearing talent. I hope you watch and decide to comment. It’s a series so may be a bit long.

    And speaking of series type stories, Keeping up with the Kandasamys (2009) and Kandasamy Wedding (2019) were cute but disappointing, especially the wedding one. Anyone else watch both and feel the same way?

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    • Aparna is great! I got to see her live at this weird award show I went to a few years back. She was still just a teenager then and didn’t really say anything, just accepted her award. But she seemed nice.

      Watch close, A Suitable Boy might be coming to Netflix instead of Acorn. They made a big promotion about it a while back and I guess it is already on Netflix in some countries. But the US has to wait until the rights shift around some more, boo!!!

      I think someone else here mentioned seeing the Kandaswamy’s and feeling the same way.

      On Mon, Nov 30, 2020 at 12:35 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I went into A Kandasamy Wedding with low expectations and enjoyed it – nothing mind blowing but light and easy – so maybe the opposite experience. But that was after putting off watching it for weeks because I thought I would be deeply annoyed. Mostly I appreciated that the women and young people got to choose their own fate.

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  3. I love Christmas Carol in almost all versions, I can’t chose one film. It’s the one story I can’t miss every Christmas. All the other “obligatory” films like “Home alone” in Poland or “Trading Places” in Italy make me angry because I hate being forced to watch something I don’t want.

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  4. I grew up with the 2001 British animated version called Christmas Carol: The Movie with Kate Winslet and other British stars. It even has a music video! Very well done, changes a bit of the story, but still dark and warm enough to enjoy. Belle, Scrooge’s lost love, has a big part in it. I have no idea where one would get it now, but we have the Finnish DVD of it at home.

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  5. The ancient Frosty the Snowman cartoon is high on my list. Also a bonus that the kids and I can sing the song AND for the 8 year-olds-third birthday we changed the words around to make it about him being a fireman. I loved that fireman phase, it lasted a good three years for that child. Nothing is cuter than a toddler in a fireman costume. They should make a Frosty the Fireman cartoon.

    Question: how wide spread are Christmas celebrations in India? I know certain areas have large Christian minorities but is it celebrated outside of those areas as well? Is it celebrated for the secular shopping aspect as it is the U.S.? With the last watch-a-long I was kinda surprised by the fact that a Mumbai mall would have hardcore Christmas decorations.

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    • You know, I don’t think I have ever seen the Frosty the Snowman movie? Our family was pretty straight Grinch and nothing else for our animated Christmas. And yes, a toddler in a fireman’s outfit is SUPER CUTE.

      I can’t fully answer the Christmas question because it’s one of those things you need to be there to really understand. I know in Kerala at least they have their own Christmas traditions separate from western traditions, like spending Christmas Eve walking from house to house visiting. I suspect that the Western Christmas has made its way in to the cities at least, it’s a fun little holiday, you can have a tree at home and maybe someone dresses up like Santa for a party.

      There are also, so far as I understand it, lots of people who celebrate the religious aspect for whatever reason of family tradition. The churches are full on Christmas Eve, including plenty of people who don’t attend church any other day. It isn’t talked about much, but there is this lovely undercurrent of cross-religious practices in Indian society. For the big holidays, Muslim and Hindu and Christian would all participate together. And Christmas gets folded into that, just as you would attend a neighborhood Eid or Diwali celebration, you would also participate in a Christmas celebration.

      On Mon, Nov 30, 2020 at 3:10 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Christmas is celebrated on a wide scale in cities,not so much in rural areas.Public spaces are decorated,Christmas trees are set up,Carols are played on stereos.Awkward Santas in schools whose beards keep falling off.And oh,sales.Probably the one thing most people wait for.I prefer to call it capitalist shopping rather than secular shopping,as most companies sell their previous stocks at low prices instead of using it as an opportunity to popularize small scale businesses.This has changed a bit since the advent of social media,but no radical progress in the right direction(unlike UK,where Christmas helps small scale businesses a lot).
      However there is not a lot of meeting and greeting in non Christian areas.Probably because everyone goes out on an outing for the entire day.Also,most of us don’t know how to exactly celebrate Christmas,so we just go around saying Merry Christmas to everyone.Unlike Diwali or Eid where we can exchange sweets or sevaiyan,it is awkward to show up at your neighbor’s door with a cake(cakes in India are basically for anniversaries,not thought of as regular dessert).There is also a doubt in some of us that there are Christians who don’t celebrate Christmas,and it is very awkward to wish them merry Christmas then start talking about the weather.However people do ‘decorate’ Christmas trees,just an electric lighting on a tree in a pot.
      I had a Catholic neighbour,and I remember how awkward it got when my nephew asked him about Jesus.So it is indeed hard to celebrate Christmas in a religious way when we know so little about it,but is starting to change with non Christians starting to visit Churches on Christmas.

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        • Sure! Islam acknowledges Jesus as a prophet, and Hinduism has this lovely inclusive feeling about religions, so there’s nothing really wrong about it. And the churches put on a nice show.

          On Tue, Dec 1, 2020 at 8:58 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Yup, we do! One year in Bombay, a bunch of us friends attended the Mass on Christmas Eve for the carols and decorations and stuff. Next morning, we made a round of churches and got to have food they were serving!

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          • And conversely, I am sure loads of Christians show up to enjoy the celebrations for Ganesh Chaturpathi and stuff. It’s a party! Everyone’s invited!!!

            On Wed, Dec 2, 2020 at 7:48 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Hmmm. I am living in what should be the Cricket Heartland of Chicago, and I see a pick-up game happening maybe once a month? That just doesn’t seem like enough interest. Also, we like baseball! I don’t know if we will be willing to try something that’s similar to baseball, but different.

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      • Yeah, exactly. Soccer never caught on in spite of lots of kids playing the sport in school and knowing and understanding it. Even bringing David Beckham to the US didn’t help. Marketing a sport nobody knows would be so hard.

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        • I could see it working if they kept the cost and expectations low. 3 week long serieses a year between like 6 teams, that could be doable. And don’t bother with big names or anything, just the novelty of being able to see a live Cricket match might be enough. But it would never be more than nostalgia/novelty.

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        • I’m not sure you can really say soccer never caught on. It is a growing sport in the U.S. My whole small town seems to tune into the U.S. women’s games, which certainly didn’t happen when I was a kid.

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          • That’s great to know! People around me only watch football and basketball so I didn’t realize. Then again, nobody around me watches baseball either but it’s still a popular sport. I should stop making judgements just based on my friends. 😀

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          • Yes, agreed. MLS (the pro men’s league) is still small but it exists. I’ve been to a few games and the small stadium is mostly full, and there’s clearly a solid fan base that holds season tickets and shows up for every game and has its own rituals. My kid could tell you the big league players. There’s a good following in LA, Atlanta, Denver, Seattle, Oregon, and NY/NJ, of the ones I know.

            What soccer has going for it though is most games are over in two hours, including halftime, so going to a game or watching a game doesn’t require a huge time commitment. And enough people grew up playing it here that even if they don’t have the habit of watching they can turn on a game and understand what’s going on. Feels like cricket would have a tougher hill to climb.

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  6. December 1st is World Aids Day. Have you seen ‘Phir Milenge’ or ‘My Brother Nikhil’? These are the only feature films that come to mind that dealt with HIV/AIDs in Bollywood. Also Bill/Melinda Gates Aids Foundation produced the 4 shorts on HIV/AIDs (Mira Nair, Farhan Akhtar (I think) directed two of them. Do you guys know of any others?

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          • Now, that is true…I am one of the group that is really enjoying “Wives”. I watch the last one because its with Shah Rukh and Gauri but I’ve gone on the others and its much nicer and more wholesome than our American versions (except for Maheep’s cursing)

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          • Good to know! Following my new “I only have to do what I feel like doing”, I haven’t watched it yet. Because I haven’t felt like it. Once I do, I’ll put up a discussion page for us all.

            On Tue, Dec 1, 2020 at 12:54 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • If nothing else, watch the last episode. While it is not as spontaneous as they are pretending, some truth does come out.

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  7. Can’t think of a Christmas movie I have a super strong attachment to. Of kids holiday movies, my favorite recent(ish) one was Rise of the Guardians.

    My question: ever since my Socha Na Tha question I’ve been trying to figure out what movie it was that I saw around the same time that has a Hindu hero getting together with a Christian heroine. But I can’t remember any details! The actress I think is in the Dia Mirza category, meaning maybe not Dia but one of the others that I mix her up with? Mostly I remember that her character had a Potuguese name, and when he went to visit her family home it was painted green inside.

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    • Was it a Hindi movie? Which year roughly? I’m guessing it’s not a Shahrukh movie (he was in 2 movies with this theme). I can only think of Khamoshi (Salman-Manisha) and Ajab Prem ki Ghazab Kahaani (Ranbir-Katrina).

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    • Well, this is almost an impossible challenge! Only one I can think that might fit but probably doesn’t is Dil Ne Jise Apna Kaha, with Salman and Bhoomika Chawla. Yes? No?

      On Mon, Nov 30, 2020 at 8:58 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • No, the hero was not Khan level famous for sure. I’m going to say 2000s decade? Hm. I’ll have to do some more fishing and see if I can figure it out.

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        • Aha! I think it was Love per Square Foot! No wonder you couldn’t help, I think you never watched that one? Found it by digging through my viewing history, it was right after I saw Socha Na Tha and it must have confused my brain. The other thing I definitely remembered was office romance. Now I’m going to hunt for that scene at her parents’ house.

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          • Did not watch it, and now I feel so much better about not being able to solve your puzzle.

            On Tue, Dec 1, 2020 at 9:26 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Yes! This is it. I got the color of the house wrong too, really made it impossible for you to guess :). The shrine is green but the house is blue. The house is also kind of a character, every time they sit down to have a conversation it drops plaster on people’s heads, that’s why Angira, our heroine, is so keen to move out. And there are two consecutive scenes in the middle, a little past the hour mark, where Ratna Pathak as Angira’s mom interrogates first the Christian ex fiance then the Hindu new fiance, all while laying the most terrific Catholic guilt trip on her daughter.

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          • Boo! Could have been an excuse for me to finally watch it!

            On Tue, Dec 1, 2020 at 10:04 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Going back made me realize it’s a solid little rom com. We were just spoiled by having more new releases at the time it came out. I like it more than any rom com I’ve seen come out this year. This was one on the roles that made .e a Vicky fan, but I’d forgotten that Ratna also gets plenty of screen time to do her thing.

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    • My Mom remembers showing that to us when we were little, maybe 4 and 6. And what was delightful was that as soon as Santa appeared onscreen, we knew he was Santa. And then we spent the whole movie laughing at all the silly adult people who don’t understand that he is clearly Santa. Not a single moment of doubt in our minds.

      Tomorrow night for my friend’s movie night, I am going to take a break from India and make them watch “A Christmas Switch” instead 🙂 Cookie maker from Chicago trades places with European princess over the holidays!

      On Tue, Dec 1, 2020 at 12:42 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. Any idea what’s going on with Diljit and Kangana? It’s all over Twitter. And do I actually want to know?

    i prefer silly movies at Christmas. I loved Scrooged but watched it recently and it didn’t hold up well. A few years ago I watched Elf in a plane. It was back when the whole plane had to watch the same movie. The combination of sleeplessness, my dinner cocktail and the altitude made it the funniest movie ever, and I think it was the same for a lot of people. I thought the whole plane would rock back and forth with the way we were laughing.

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    • I don’t want to know! I’m just gonna assume Kangana is being horrible again, and hope that Diljit’s fans go after her. Maybe someone else in the comments can help you?

      I saw Elf in the same kind of way! It came out back when I was in college, and I went to the really cheap scuzzy theater to see it at the 10am matinee. It was me and a bunch of families with kids and everyone laughed like crazy.

      On Thu, Dec 3, 2020 at 8:03 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Punjabi farmers are protesting against some new law these days and Kangana as usuall said something stupid and offensive about one of the grandmas who were protesting, (she said the grandma would attend any protest for 100 rs). Diljit got angry and show Kangana her place.

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