All I Want For Christmas Is Mariah Carey’s New Special


Christmas feels like a warm comforting hug — the kind that you can melt into after a long hard day of work. To add an extra sparkle to the festivities in true ‘Queen of Christmas’ fashion, Mariah Carey is bringing you an early present— her new Christmas special Mariah’s Christmas: The Magic Continues premieres on Apple TV + on December 3rd and features her new song in collaboration with Khalid and Kirk Franklin called ‘Fall in love at Christmas’. In an exclusive interview with ELLE, the singer-songwriter spoke about the new Christmas special, her music, Christmas traditions and much more, take a look:


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ELLE: What can we expect from the new Christmas special this year?

Mariah Carey: Last year, we had a very challenging situation with COVID-19 but we made the best of what we could. This year, you can expect a brand new song called ‘Fall In Love At Christmas’. It’s with Khalid, who I love and Kirk Franklin, who is a gospel legend— still young but legendary. I think what’s amazing is that it’s is so different— it’s a love song and a gospel song— it’s a spiritual moment. When I was writing the lyrics, I was thinking about a couple who’s aware that they’re going to fall in love all over again at Christmas. It is one of my favourite Christmas songs that I’ve written and I’m so happy to be performing it on the Christmas special for Apple TV + this year.

ELLE: Tell us more about your experience collaborating with Khalid and Kirk Franklin

MC: Khalid was working on his brand new album and he secretly sent me some of the music that he was working on. I was living for it! Kirk is such a legend in the gospel world, vibrant and amazing. So when we all got together, it was incredible. The video of the song is out there to be seen on Youtube and Vivo but the performance for the first time ever can be seen starting December 3rd on Apple TV +. We all felt the Christmas spirit and had a lot of fun behind the scenes. 


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ELLE: What advice would you give people to make their Christmas extra magical this year? 

MC: I wish I had magic dust to sprinkle on top of everybody’s Christmases and make them perfect. I really think it’s about looking into your own heart and sharing your joy with your loved ones, your friends and the world. We can’t control what’s going on in this world, we never know what’s going to happen from one minute to the next but Christmas is its own special sacred time of the year. The holiday season is and can be magical and I think it just really starts inside you.

ELLE: Could you share your sweetest Christmas memory or tradition with us? 

MC: My memories of childhood Christmases are kind of bittersweet because I had a dysfunctional family. It was not always fun but I always hoped it would be and remained optimistic about it. I used to have a little advent calendar, which I used to open every day and find something different. I have to say my mother was the festive one who got me into understanding Christmas. She used to make mulled wine and she and her friends would sing Christmas carols.  That made that time of the year special for me. So now when I am in charge of the holiday, I try my best to make it amazing for my kids and everybody else but also selfishly for me. I take just a few moments and just quietly enjoy feeling the spirit of Christmas. 


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ELLE: When you wrote ‘All I Want For Christmas’, did you intend to give it a classic Christmas sound rather than making it another song from the 1990s? 

MC: It was very early on in my career when I wrote and recorded ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’. It was the first holiday song I ever wrote and I’ll never forget being in the room, playing around with a keyboard, writing the lyrics, then moving on and working with my then writing partner Walter A. I don’t know how to explain it, it was just the moment. I’m so thankful that I did it because it came from a pure place. I think every song is its own entity—whether it’s a Christmas song or any other. There is no secret formula, it’s just what it is. 

ELLE: Why do you think people connect so strongly with ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ year after year?

MC: I think one of the things that have given it the longevity is that it doesn’t feel like one specific era. We did this so it would feel like a modern classic and I’m so thankful that it does. I feel a similar way about ‘Fall in love at Christmas’ because it’s nothing like ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ but it is a heartfelt love song with a spiritual peak. A lot of people do Christmas songs earlier in their careers now but it does take a long time to sort of permeate the world’s Christmas radar.  If it’s a true hit that resonates with people, then that’s what it’s going to be. My favourite Christmas songs are mostly from the olden days and I’ve also remade them—God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Joy to the World, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. I love all music but there’s a special kind of nostalgic bittersweet thing that connects me to writing and recording Christmas music.


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ELLE: What is the most lavish Christmas present you have ever given? 

MC: It was a Ferrari. Did they deserve it? I don’t know (laughs). 

ELLE: What can you tell us about your memoir and do you hope to someday turn that into a movie or a series? 

MC: My memoir The Meaning Of Mariah Carey took almost 3 years of my life to write. I collaborated with a very dear friend of mine, the brilliant Michaela Angela Davis and we really put a lot into this. Now we’re working on the film adaptation and there’s a lot of big decisions to be made because it really matters to me.  It’s not a Christmas thing, it’s not a holiday thing— it is my life. So that is coming up next and it’s very exciting.


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ELLE: How do you celebrate Christmas with your family?

MC: I try to get a headstart on it, but oftentimes in the past couple of years, I have been working, singing, performing and touring until the very last minute. But now we are planning more than a month in advance. We spend our time in the snow and the kids have the best time ever. I have to say that half the time they want to be playing their video games because that’s just the reality of today but I have so much fun, it’s the only time I relax completely. I love when it snows, it’s the most beautiful thing.  I tend to like to sleep when I’m not working so I tell everybody to wake me up even if it flurries. I really do love those little aspects of the holiday season and that’s kind of my thing.  


- Digital Writer


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