12 ways Mariah Carey invented Christmas

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey
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The holidays is Mariah Carey season. Over the last three decades, the music legend has become globally known as the go-to for Christmas music. The recognition followed the 1994 release of “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” which has since taken over streaming services, radios, stores and more during the festive season.

However, in recent years, Carey has stepped outside of just dropping music when it comes to spreading Yuletide cheer. In October 2023, she announced her latest holiday tour, “Merry Christmas One and All!” As the Queen of Christmas gears up to head out on the road after “defrosting,” check out REVOLT’s list of all the ways that Carey practically invented the holiday.

1. The legacy of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” 

Is it really Christmas if you don’t hear “All I Want for Christmas Is You”? Since being released nearly 30 years ago, the hit has broken records across the board. In 2019, the iconic Christmas song broke three Guinness World Records for the highest-charting holiday song on the Hot 100 by a solo artist, became the most streamed track on Spotify in 24 hours and earned the most weeks in the UK Singles Top 10 chart for a Christmas song, according to Forbes. What’s more, on Dec. 24, 2022, it broke Spotify’s record as the most streamed song in one day, per The Independent. At the time of this article’s publication, it had nearly 1.5 billion streams on the platform alone. 

Along with having massive airplay, “All I Want for Christmas Is You” has been covered by countless musicians including Dolly Parton, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus and more. In 2011, Carey and Justin Bieber dropped their “super festive” remake of the track.

2. The release of her Merry Christmas and Merry Christmas II You albums

“All I Want for Christmas Is You” was the lead single off of Carey’s debut Christmas album, Merry Christmas. Released in October 1994, the song went on to become one of the best-selling holiday albums, as it’s currently eight-times platinum in the United States and 15-times platinum worldwide. Sixteen years later, Carey followed up with Merry Christmas II You, which included writing and production from the likes of Jermaine Dupri, Bryan-Michael Cox and Randy Jackson.

3. Mariah’s renditions of classic Christmas records 

Carey is the queen of turning throwbacks into her own classics. The list of Christmas songs she’s covered includes all-time favorites such as “Silent Night,” “Joy to the World,” “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” “O Holy Night” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” While the timeless “All I Want for Christmas Is You” marked her biggest holiday song, her renditions also hit the charts in the U.S. and beyond. Leave it to Carey to put her spin on a classic and create her own impact.

4. Going on the road for consecutive Christmas tours 

Over the past few years, Carey has curated an annual Christmas concert experience to take the celebration to a new level. The 2023 edition is titled “Merry Christmas One and All!” Kicking off in Highland, CA, the tour is set to stop by a total of 14 cities in the U.S. and Canada. The trek has expanded in comparison to last year when the tour’s only stops were in New York City and Toronto.

5. The “It’s Time” catchphrase to ring in the holiday season 

When it comes to holiday phrases, “’Tis the season” and “Deck the halls” are among the most popular ones. However, Carey has pushed those aside to create her own. 2019 was when the world was first introduced to Carey’s “It’s Time” in the pitch of her signature whistle note. On Nov. 1 of this year, right after Halloween, she returned to social media to remind everyone that Christmas is on the horizon.

6. Christmas TV specials on big-time networks

Although Carey tours in order to spark the Christmas spirit, not everyone can secure tickets to her sold-out shows. For those who are unable to attend, the experience is available on TV. In December 2022, “Mariah Carey: Merry Christmas to All!” was a two-hour concert special that aired on CBS. In December 2020, Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special was released on Apple TV+. 

7. Collaborations with fellow music stars to bring holiday cheer

Spreading Christmas joy is even more fun with others. On the soundtrack for Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special, Carey worked with longtime collaborators and fellow music stars. The album featured Snoop Dogg, Jennifer Hudson, Jermaine Dupri, and Ariana Grande. Carey also teamed up with Kirk Franklin and Khalid for “Fall in Love at Christmas” in 2021, which was a part of Mariah’s Christmas: The Magic Continues — her second Apple TV+ Christmas special.

8. Closing out the 2022 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to commence Christmas season

What better way to get into the holiday spirit than having Carey perform during the biggest holiday celebration? On Thanksgiving Day in 2022, she sang “All I Want for Christmas Is You” for her debut at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She was also joined by her children, Moroccan and Monroe Cannon. 

9. Holiday film features

After landing her first acting role in 1999, Carey has gone on to expand her Hollywood portfolio. The resume, of course, includes Christmas films. Carey directed and starred in A Christmas Melody, which aired on the Hallmark Channel in 2015. By 2017, she returned with the film All I Want for Christmas Is You, an animated movie for which Carey narrated and provided a soundtrack.

10. Her books “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and “The Christmas Princess”

As another nod to her Christmas smash hit, Carey released the book “All I Want for Christmas Is You” in 2015, which was illustrated by Colleen Madden. Then, in 2022, “The Christmas Princess” hit bookshelves. The picture book follows the story of a young Carey, who is eager to spread the Christmas spirit. The children’s tale was written by Carey and Michaela Angela Davis and illustrated by Fuuji Takashi.

11. Partnerships revolving around the holiday 

Christmas is very well on its way, which also means that the partnerships are rolling in for Carey. To celebrate the holidays this year, the entertainer has partnered with Victoria’s Secret. Under the collab, the company dropped new items including lingerie, pajamas and seasonal mists. In addition, Carey teamed up with The Children’s Place, alongside her kids, to display its holiday pajamas.

12. Christmas merch for grabs 

Mariah Carey is amplifying her holiday catchphrase, “It’s Time,” with merchandise. Available on Amazon, the merch includes a T-shirt, tote bag and tumbler. Sporting the Christmas gear is another way of Carey getting her message to the masses. The website where the items are sold also details that merch for the “Merry Christmas One and All!” tour is on its way.

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