Mariah Carey’s Christmas Traditions Are Just as Over the Top as You’d Expect

Mariah Carey doesn’t do things like everyone else, especially when it comes to celebrating the holidays. Unlike us mere mortals who ring in the holiday season with some cookies, eggnog, and classic Christmas movies, the Grammy-winning pop star takes her traditions to the next level by going over-the-top with her yuletide celebrations.

Want to know what they are? Read on below to learn all about Carey’s Christmas traditions that are nothing short of fabulous, darling!

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey | Terence Patrick/CBS via Getty Images

As a child, Mariah Carey always dreamed of having the perfect Christmas

Carey may be a huge fan of Christmas, but the holiday season hasn’t always been merry and bright for her.

Growing up, the singer’s family didn’t have money for expensive gifts. But despite not being well off, Carey made the most out of the joyous day with her mother, who tried her best to put the “trauma and drama” in their lives to the side for that one day. 

Still, Carey’s Christmases would always end up being ruined by her “dysfunctional family members” — namely her half brother and sister.

According to the hitmaker, her sibling would often get into heated arguments at Christmas dinner that would “explode in a torrent of verbal abuse.”

Dealing with these unhappy experiences during the festive period as a kid had become a norm for Carey. However, she never lost hope and always dreamed of one day having a “perfect” Christmas.

“I would sit there in the center of the chaos, crying and wishing,” Carey recalls in her memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey. “Wishing they would stop screaming, wishing my mother could stop them from screaming and cursing. Wishing I could be somewhere safe and merry — somewhere that felt like Christmas.”

All Carey could do in the middle of all the drama was use her imagination to escape from reality, and doing so allowed her to envision her perfect Christmas: one filled with fun, laughter, and a ton of holiday joy.

“I set about creating my own little magical, merry world of Christmas,” she continued. “My imaginary Christmas was filled with Santa Claus, reindeer, snowmen, and all the bells and trimmings a little girl’s dreams could hold.”

After divorcing her first husband, Mariah Carey began making Christmases extravagant

As the years passed, Carey continued dreaming up the perfect holiday for herself and her family.

But that all changed following her divorce from her first husband, Tommy Mottola, in 1998. After their brief marriage, Carey finally gave herself the Christmas she had always wished for by making the holidays as extravagant and over-the-top as she possibly could.

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey | Mat Hayward/Getty Images for Sugar Factory American Brasserie

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“After I kind of emerged from my first relationship-slash-marriage [to Tommy Mottola] I created the Christmases that I wanted to have,” she recently told ELLE magazine. “A lot of very bad stuff happened to me when I was 12. But also, there is the spirit of that kid, that fighter who doesn’t give up, who does embrace who she is, even though the world didn’t understand that from my point of view.”

Mariah Carey doesn’t have a problem going over-the-top for the holiday season

Now that Carey is all grown up and has a family of her own, making sure that her twins, Moroccan and Monroe, have a perfect Christmas each year is one of her top priorities.

“I want to make it magical for my kids. You know, I think it’s this kind of childlike love of Christmas that saved me. I go through so much all year long just to have a great Christmas.” she explained to Cosmpolitan U.K. in 2019. “I enjoyed that so much, thank you. I think everybody should spend Christmas with me because it’s a great experience.”

As for how she and her kids celebrate the holidays, Carey revealed that she goes above and beyond with their Christmas festivities.

Mariah Carey and twins Moroccan and Monroe | Denise Truscello/Getty Images

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“Christmas officially starts on the 23rd with my extended family. We’re not together, but Nick [Cannon, Carey’s ex-husband and the father of her twins] will usually come by. And usually we’re in Aspen, (they stay in a $22 million estate courtesy of Airbnb),” she shared with the publication. “When I get off the plane, our drivers have All I Want For Christmas… playing, we have hot cocoa and some butterscotch schnapps. Then we’ll go through the woods on a two-horse open sleigh with blankets and real reindeer.”

The singer continued, “It’s freezing cold but it’s beautiful and you’re looking at the stars. It’s an incredible moment I love every year.”

While some of these traditions may be a bit unrealistic for the average class American, Carey says she also partakes in a few activities that are holiday staples in most families.

“[We play] taboo every year. Now sometimes, just to get the kids involved in writing and stuff, we’ll do Head’s Up, which is pretty much like Taboo,” she explained. “I’m pretty competitive.”

She added, “I watch only Christmas movies and I listen to only Christmas music – that’s the only thing that’s allowed to happen in my house. I used to bring DVDs but now it’s usually between Netflix and Amazon Prime – they have categories for Christmas movies. I love It’s A Wonderful Life, Elf, Four Christmases and [of course] Love Actually – my song is in that, I had to approve it.”