With Christmas only 12 days away, holiday hymns are in the air. Every year, we ask ourselves the same question: how did Mariah Carey become the paradigm of Christmas spirit? It’s not uncommon to hear her hit song “All I Want for Christmas Is You” in stores or on the radio.
“All I Want for Christmas Is You” was released in October 1994 as the single for Carey’s holiday album Merry Christmas. The song received rave reviews, with critics calling it an instant holiday classic. The song appeared on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Chart at number six.
Since then, the song has become an integral part of modern Christmas celebrations. Carey has performed it on a number of holiday shows and specials. In 2019, a deluxe version of her Christmas album was released. A second music video titled “All I Want for Christmas Is You (Make My Wish Come True Edition)” was filmed alongside the project to commemorate its impact. As if this isn’t enough evidence of her success, Carey has earned an estimated $60 million in royalties from the song.
Though this song is her most well-known Christmas song, Carey’s hold on Christmas doesn’t end there. “Oh, Santa!” was released as part of her second Christmas album, Merry Christmas II. It reached number one during its second week on the U.S. Adult Contemporary Chart, becoming the fastest song to ascend to the top of the chart in history.
Her Christmas albums have led her to many other ventures. This past week, the Mariah Carey Christmas Special premiered on Apple TV. The 43-minute long show included Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Jermaine Dupree and other stars. Both Grande and Hudson sang alongside Carey for a remix of “Oh, Santa!”, which has become a fan favorite.
Carey’s monopoly on Christmas is well deserved. Her songs embody the desire for companionship during a holiday that focuses on relationships, highlighting how the power of love outweighs any materialistic gift we can give each other. Carey brings realism to a holiday that is known for its fantasy. It is a comforting reminder that we’re not alone.
By Aminah Jenkins, Staff Writer