Things That Matter

Mariah Carey Will Always Be The Queen Of Christmas And Here Are All Of The Reasons Why

Mariah Carey has firmly held the white and red pompon crown since the debut of her 1994 Christmas album and “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” Every year, she systematically and steadily usurps Santa Claus as the most important Christmas figure.

There’s a reason her reputation has only grown stronger almost 25 years later: she goes harder at Christmas than anyone. From casual strolls around the block to annual performances of that iconic album, Carey embodies all that is Christmas.

Mariah Carey released her album “Merry Christmas” in 1994 and it is still a cultural phenomenon.

CREDIT: Spotify

Carey wasn’t sure if she had the musical clout to release the album so early in her career but she went for it. Everyone who celebrates Christmas is so happy that she did, tbh.

Her “Merry Christmas” album, especially the song “All I Want For Christmas Is You” always makes it back to the Billboard Top 100 charts this time of year.

CREDIT: @MariahTrends / Twitter

There is no surprise when you think about it. Carey has been the Christmas icon so many of us recognize and admire. Not only does her song keep coming back, she also has Christmas concerts and spends the days of December sharing her love of Christmas nonstop.

The meme community fully recognizes her royalty status.

CREDIT: @enemyofaverage / Twitter

While Carey recently dropped a new album, “Caution,” all I’ve listened to today is “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” ‘Tis the season to see Carey all over your Twitter feed.

She’s already hanging out with The Rockettes.

CREDIT: @Rockettes / Twitter

Carey made an appearance when radio station 107.9 switched over to Christmas music, debuting with the Queen of Christmas’ “All I Want for Christmas Is You” track. Of course she had to drop by to say hi. Someone mentioned Christmas.

Her Buena Noche outfit last year was legendary.

CREDIT: @MariahNetwork / Twitter

Caption: “@MariahCarey spotted in Aspen on Christmas eve”

It’s Aspen. We’re over here in Los Angeles wearing three layers of flannel pajamas to keep warm when it drops to 50 degrees, but she is flawless.

She only takes interviews on board a Christmas sleigh, as she should.

CREDIT: @LateNightSeth / Twitter

Okay, that’s not entirely true, but it’s how it should be. She is Christmas royalty and this seems like the most appropriate setting for a Christmas time interview with her.

Last year, she brought her kids to meet real live reindeers with Santa, of course.

CREDIT: @MariahCarey / Twitter

Note that Santa Claus is in the backdrop. It’s the only place he belongs when Mariah Carey is involved. La Reina is front and center.

She’s made it puro claro that the tree stays up long after Three Kings Day.

CREDIT: @MariahCarey / Twitter

The Queen of Christmas has spoken. That’s why my mami has a “year round Christmas tree.” She decorates it for Fourth of July, tambien.

Oh, her album is the best selling Christmas album of all time.

CREDIT: @wemissmusic / Twitter

When copies were a thing, it sold over 15 million copies. When ringtones were a thing, it was the best selling holiday ringtone of all time. There is no stopping the power of “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”

Because of her track record, she’s gone on to write songs for “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (2000).

CREDIT: @ThatEricAlper / Twitter

Her musical and Christmas prowess really made the film everything that it is. Who else could pull together such amazing Christmas music for a film?

She then released a second Christmas album in 2010.

CREDIT: @PopCrave / Twitter

She called it “Merry Christmas II You.” Get it? The album debuted at #1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, making it the second ever Christmas album to top that chart.

Then she dueted “All I Want for Christmas is You” with Justin Bieber.

CREDIT: @musicnewsfact / Twitter

She literally can’t get enough of the Christmas compilations. Wonder when the Christmas music starts playing in her head?

Carey told Jimmy Fallon that her urge to listen to Christmas music is so strong she has to create rules to moderate herself.

CREDIT: @MariahTrends / Twitter

“I have this rule where I try to get through Thanksgiving. I don’t like when people rush it because once I start, I don’t stop until after like almost New Year’s,” she told Fallon.

When her label first asked her to write the Christmas album, she thought it was too early in her career.

CREDIT: @mariahsfacts / Twitter

She’s that humble. Her love of Christmas eventually took over and she decided to give it a shot. Good thing she did.

She once rejected the title, “Queen of Christmas.”

CREDIT: @MariahCareyAU / Twitter

She told People that she doesn’t “accept that name because I feel like it’s [too much].” Only a true queen would say that. Spoken like a true royal.

“All year long I just wait and I look forward to cooking and just like decorating the Christmas tree.”

CREDIT: @MariahCareyAU / Twitter

She told People that she has actually has “a few different Christmas trees, and we decorate some of them and some of them there’s a lady that helps us with that, and then there’s one that the kids and I do together with my extended family and friends.”

She even has an animated movie coming out this year called “Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

CREDIT: @idolator / Twitter

We cannot freakin’ wait. Want to know why? Because all I want for Christmas is Mariah Carey in all her Christmas glory.

For the last five years she’s kicked off  the holiday season in Rockefeller Centre.

CREDIT: @billboard / Twitter

She’s not giving up that title this year. Though she’s had to cancel several holiday performances because of an ‘illness’, she’s still breathing life into all of us with three of her albums in the top charts already.

The Lambily agrees. Carey is our forever Queen of Christmas.

CREDIT: @billboard / Twitter

I don’t care how humble you are about it, Mariah. The only photos I want to ever see of you are with your eight personal Christmas trees in the backdrop.

Fact: Santa’s reputation is gone.

CREDIT: @blackmon / Twitter

Caption: “Most people don’t know this, but this was the last time anyone saw Santa Claus publicly before Mariah Carey usurped his position, thus becoming Queen of Christmas.” Verdad.

Because we all know this to be true:

CREDIT: @totallygoodtime / Twitter

It wouldn’t be Christmas without Mariah Carey, i.e. Mariah Carey must exist for Christmas to exist, i.e. Mariah Carey invented Christmas. That’s how math works.


READ: Let’s See If You Can Ace This Lyrics Quiz On Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’

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The World Has Finally Seen The Light: Mariah Carey Has Been Inducted Into The Songwriters Hall Of Fame At Last

Entertainment

The World Has Finally Seen The Light: Mariah Carey Has Been Inducted Into The Songwriters Hall Of Fame At Last

mariahcarey / Instagram

2020 is already proving to be a big year for some of history’s most iconic musicians. The Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees have just been announced—and among them are classic artists like the Isley Brothers, Eurythmics, Steve Miller, and the ever-iconic Mariah Carey. Many of this year’s inductees boast prolific careers that span literal decades, and Carey is no exception. She’s best-known for her outrageous vocal range and trademark high-notes, but she’s got some serious songwriting chops, and the time has finally come for that particular gift to be celebrated, too.

“I can’t believe it . . . The SONGWRITERS HALL OF FAME!!!!” Carey gushed on Twitter. “This is truly one of the greatest honors of my career,” she wrote, praising previous inductees as well as her peers in “the class of 2020.”

Mariah Carey has won five Grammys over the course of her 30-years-and-counting career, writing or co-writing 18 of her 19 songs that hit No. 1 on the Billboard Top 100. Some of the catchiest pop songs of all time—from 1993’s “Dreamlover” to 1995’s “Fantasy” and “Always Be My Baby”—were penned by Carey herself, and you can’t say that these tunes have never drilled themselves so deep in your head that you were humming them for days (or weeks) on end. (Well, you could say that, but we wouldn’t believe you.)

Although the woman’s got a knack for writing some serious bops, she’s rarely been lauded as the incredible songwriter she is. Carey even expressed frustration at this lack of recognition in a 2018 interview with Rolling Stone, acknowledging that it has always been important for her to be responsible for the crafting of her lyrics (her contracts have even stated that she would primarily perform her own original work).

On the topic of her songwriting skills, Carey said, “The average person who is not a fan or [doesn’t] follow what I do . . . they just don’t know, because I’m not seen sitting behind a piano or strumming a guitar, for the most part.” She added, “I’ve had those moments, but that’s not really what people associate me with.”

And it’s true—people usually associate Carey with her powerful voice, a key ingredient to her abundant success (and her long list of record-breaking accolades).

Credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

As a vocalist, Carey has logged the highest number of weeks spent at the top of the charts (79 in total!), and her characteristic alto/soprano sound has made her a timeless, international sensation—the global obsession with “All I Want For Christmas (Is You)” led to a series of historic firsts. For example: it made Carey the first artist to top the singles charts in four separate decades; as a resurrected 2019 holiday bop, it was the first-ever song to top the Billboard Hot 100 before disappearing entirely; and it earned her a 2020 Guinness World Record for the “highest-charting holiday (Christmas/New Year) song on the US Hot 100 by a solo artist.”

Damn, Mimi. When she told Rolling Stone that “oftentimes people put [songwriting] as a secondary thing, and for me it’s always at the top of the gifts I could be so thankful to have,” we heard her loud and clear. And the folks at the Songwriters Hall of Fame seem to have finally gotten the message.

In a statement about the prestigious award, Songwriters Hall of Fame chairmain said: ““The first thing you need to know is it’s about the song, the second thing you need to know is it’s about the song, the third thing you need to know is it’s about the song.” He added, “I am very proud that we are recognizing some of the culturally most important songwriters of all time and that the 2020 slate of inductees represents diversity and unity across genres, ethnicity and gender, writers who have enriched our lives and in their time literally transformed music and helped make it what it is today.”

Without a doubt, the landscape of music today would be very different without Mariah Carey’s impact. 

Credit: The Pop Hub / Twitter

In a 2008 blurb for Time Magazine, Stevie Wonder wrote, “When people talk about the great influential singers, they talk about Aretha, Whitney and Mariah. That’s a testament to her talent. Her range is that amazing.”

A legend himself, Stevie Wonder was right—everyone from Beyonce to Missy Elliott (who was inducted to the Songwriters Hall of Fame last year) to Ariana Grande have cited Mariah Carey as a major influence. Carey’s signature melismatic singing style has shaped popular music in an undeniable and major way (think: Beyonce/Jennifer Hudson/Christina Aguilera vocals, how ubiquitous and fundamental they are to the current state of pop). All in all, there’s no questioning it: Mariah Carey is a force to be reckoned with, and her extensive oeuvre includes some pretty praise-worthy lyrical prowess.

Día De Los Reyes Was The First Time I Allowed My S.O. To Experience My Culture

Culture

Día De Los Reyes Was The First Time I Allowed My S.O. To Experience My Culture

bolilloscafe /Instagram

For many who regularly take part in the holiday season, Christmas traditions are strongly tied to religious beliefs and practices. The ways in which the customs around the holiday season are carried out often deeply rooted in cultural rituals and they often vary from family to family. For my Puerto Rican family, the holiday season is drawn out well past the first of January when radio stations reel back on the jingles and Mariah Carey classics. For us, the Twelve Days Of Christmas sales or songs we know of don’t relate to the days leading up to December 25, but rather the twelve days in between Christmas Day and January 6 The Epiphany, a biblical day that marks the final leg of the  Three Wise Men’s journey to deliver gold, frankincense and myrrh to Jesus Christ.

Día De Los Reyes has always been an especially important day for my family. The fact that “reyes” is my mother’s maiden name has only made the day a little sweeter.

Photo provided by Wandy Felicita Ortiz

A more popular holiday back on the island, my abuela and abuelo Reyes brought their traditions to the mainland with them in the 1950s.

On the evening of January 5, each member of my family from grandfather to my youngest sobrino pull out cardboard shoe and clothing boxes (all marked with our names, drawn on and decorated over the years with crayons, markers, and glitter pens) to take part in a tradition that we hold dear in our hearts. After we’ve filled the boxes with snacks like carrots, lettuce, and sometimes grass for the Three Kings’ camels to munch on as they pass through our town we stick the boxes under our beds. Finally, just as we would with Santa Claus, we write the Three Kings–Los Reyes–a handwritten note wishing them safe travels as the journey to see the baby Jesus hoping that as they did with him on that first Epiphany, they’ll leave a small gift or token of some sort under our boxes.

Dia De Los Reyes functions similarly to Christmas Eve in my family. We all wake up and check under our boxes to see if we were good enough this year to receive any gifts. We’d go to mass together, where as kids we’d hope that maybe Los Reyes stayed in town with their camels long enough that day to be at the church community center to pose for photos. We would visit family and eat pernil and arroz con gandules, dishes reserved for celebrations and holidays.

As I got older I went to mass only sometimes and stopped looking to get my photos with Los Reyes.

Photo provided by Wandy Felicita Ortiz

I never stopped checking my box for gifts though, or remembering each rey by the names older relatives taught me to write in my letters: Balthasar, Melchior, and Gaspar. As an adult I focused on new ways to celebrate “being a king,” as my family would say, and took on the role of expert coquito maker.

When I started dating and began wanting to bring boyfriends home for the holidays, part of my new role during the holiday season also unintentionally became one of both gatekeeper and teacher of my Puerto Rican culture. As a sophomore in college, I brought my then boyfriend home for December for the first time. In my household, Noche Buena, Christmas Day, New Years Day, New Year’s Eve, and Dia De Los Reyes were all days set aside for family, exclusively. I knew not to ask for exceptions, and in the past had willfully or grudgingly passed up holiday and New Years parties to honor the expectation of being en familia.

But in my twenties I badly started to yearn for my first New Years kiss and wanted, even more, to share part of my twelve days of Christmas with somebody who mattered to me.

My parents, on the other hand, were hesitant. Dia De Los Reyes was about Los Reyes, as in my family.

My boyfriend was someone they saw a few times a year and knew of only from phone calls, letters, texts, and video chats. Someone so unfamiliar certainly wasn’t considered family, and moreover someone who wasn’t Latino couldn’t possibly understand the sanctity of the day we’d honored so lovingly all our lives.

Most concerning of all, Dia De Los Reyes is also known among some circles as “the poor man’s Christmas,” my grandparents’ explanation being that back in the days of Jesus, being a king didn’t mean wealth like it means today. It meant that the giftschildren and observers receive in their boxes today are small, like a $10 gift card, socks, some mittens, or maybe candy. The last thing my family needed was for some guy they didn’t know to reach into an old shoebox of all things, pull out socks, and think we were cheap. With some convincing and a little grumbling, my family allowed me to write my boyfriend’s name on a box, fill it with lettuce and put it under my bed on January 5.

That night as I lay in bed, I did feel nervous knowing that I was bringing somebody into such a special part of my life that no one had ever seen before outside of my parents. Earlier in the day, I made sure to explain to him how seriously my family took our family only traditions, and how it wasn’t just about the religious holiday but the namesake that ties us to one another. I felt silly as I highlighted decorating beat-up boxes as one of my favorite traditions, something I hadn’t ever admitted out loud. Quiet and reserved, he listened to my stories but didn’t ask any questions.

In the morning, I still had my family only morning mass and our opening of gifts, but later that day my boyfriend was invited over for pasteles, coquito, and the checking of his first and only Three Kings Day box.

My parents observed with critical eyes as he went through the motions of our traditions, seeming charmed by the gifts of a hat and gloves left resting on top of torn up shreds of lettuce, proof that Los Reyes had come through our house. As he followed our lead I sat hoping that by participating in the events himself, he might better understand where my love for my culture comes from, or maybe even briefly feel the same sense of childhood joy I do on that day each year. Admittedly, it was an awkward day for everyone involved and not filled with all the magic I had hoped for. Nonetheless, I still felt proud of myself for being able to break down a barrier that had long existed between myself and not only romantic connections but a friend, too.

I wanted the opportunity to show those outside of my family the part of my identity that I hadn’t always made transparent in my daily life, even if that meant that they didn’t understand or wouldn’t “get it” at first.

Photo provided by Wandy Felicita Ortiz

Even though the person who got to take the test run of my family only traditions and I aren’t together anymore, a few years ago he broke the mold for being able to bring others into a part of my life I was using to shutting so many close to me out of.n Maybe he did think that of us, our gifts, or the day we celebrate as cheap, but after the fact I, didn’t care. In the years that have followed, what has mattered most to me has been that I could start sharing Reyes, this name that laid down the foundation to who I am before I was ever born, and all the nuances that come with it with those I want to know me better.

This Dia De Los Reyes will be one of a few Reyes family festivities that my current boyfriend will be participating in, and another year where my family pulls out his box and welcomes his extra cheer into our holidays. While he’s still learning about my roots, I’m still learning that I can take these moments and use them to bring myself closer to my culture and my loved ones.


Read: Twitter’s Latest Hashtag Fights Back Against The Normalization Of Death And Violence Against Migrant Youth

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