Mariah Carey has the distinction of being maybe the last person to introduce an original Christmas classic into the canon. Every year around this time, “All I Want for Christmas Is You” re-appears on the Billboard charts, having hit the very top spot in 2021 for the third year in a row. That’s a historic feat for a pop song, and led some folks to dub Mariah the “Queen of Christmas.” But Carey herself isn’t a fan of the name.
“Can I just say that I did not create the title or the moniker ‘Queen of Christmas?’” Carey said on BBC 2’s Zoe Ball Breakfast Show. “I did not do that. That was other people, and I just want to humbly say that I don’t consider myself that.”
“I’m someone that loves Christmas, that happened to be blessed to write ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ and a lot of other Christmas songs,” she explained. “Let’s face it, everybody’s faith is what it is. But to me, Mary is the queen of Christmas.”
Well, hard to argue with that. Mary wrote arguably the first and best Christmas Carol with her Magnificat, which she proclaimed when she met her cousin Elizabeth in Luke 1. The Magnificat is less about “I don’t want a lot for Christmas / There is just one thing I need” and more about bringing down the powerful and lifting up the lowly. Pretty different energies, but there’s nothing wrong with that — especially when Carey has respect for the OG Christmas Queen.
Carey’s been pretty open about her faith since 2002, when the late Rev. Clarence Keaton helped her piece her life back together following a management fiasco that ended up costing her her whole record deal. Since that time, Carey has lent her vocals to a handful of Gospel recordings and written about her faith in her 2020 memoir The Meaning of Mariah Carey where she wrote, “In the end, and in the beginning, it’s all about faith for me. I can’t define it, but it has defined me.”