When Mariah Carey wrote her chart-conquering song All I Want For Christmas Is You, she wasn’t being entirely honest — she wants just a little bit more than that
Reindeer, sleigh rides, Santa Claus trudging through snow with a sack of presents, and a sea of twinkling lights that’s probably visible from space.
‘It’s a production, darling,’ the famously ostentatious diva has said of her annual festivities. ‘I’m obsessed with Christmas.’ And she’s not exaggerating.
Carey was raised in poverty in Long Island, New York, where her Irish-American mother had been ostracised by her family for marrying a black Venezuelan.
When Mariah was three, her parents divorced, and she and her brother were brought up by her mother, a former opera singer, while her sister was raised by her father, from whom Carey grew apart.
Christmas was the beacon of light in Mariah’s rather bleak childhood. ‘My mom didn’t have a lot of money,’ she has said. ‘She tried to make it festive, no matter what, even if she just wrapped up fruit.’
So Mariah made a vow that ‘in my own life, I would make sure every Christmas was great. 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’.
This year, like the last, it will be spent in Aspen, Colorado.
Here, we find out what makes a Mariah Carey Christmas . . .
Aspen here we come
Mariah Carey will fly out to Aspen, Colorado, by private jet on December 23 with her extended family. And she’s never been known to make an entrance that isn’t grand.
In previous years, she’s been photographed gingerly disembarking on to the icy runway in fur coat, fishnets and thigh-high stiletto boots as chauffeurs dutifully blast from their cars All I Want For Christmas Is You.
Her entourage includes her ex-husband, actor and rapper Nick Cannon, their eight-year-old twins, Moroccan and Monroe, and other family and friends.
Mariah Carey will fly out to Aspen, Colorado, by private jet on December 23 with her extended family
The festive season will be spent in a $22 million (£17 million) five-bedroom mansion
On arrival, the group have hot cocoa and butterscotch schnapps before being cocooned in blankets on a sleigh pulled by horses and heading off through the snowy woods.
Mega trees and snow machines
She may be in a ski resort, but Mariah insists that snow machines are on hand in case the weather fails to deliver
Christmas ain’t Christmas unless it’s a white Christmas. She may be in a ski resort, but Mariah insists that snow machines are on hand in case the weather fails to deliver.
And snow is just the start. Last year, she paid a specialist company from Liverpool more than £30,000 to send a six-strong team to do up the Aspen mansion.
They installed a small forest’s-worth of 15ft Douglas fir trees and festooned them with 18in cones from giant redwoods, 150 glass baubles and slices of dried orange peel, cinnamon sticks and fresh eucalyptus.
One Christmas tree is in Carey’s bedroom and another, smaller one, dubbed the ‘Charlie Brown tree’, is in the family room. She and her children garland it with coloured lights and Polaroid family photos.
The main tree — 19ft high — is decorated by professionals, with the emphasis on gold. In addition, last year there were pine wreaths, mistletoe and holly throughout the mansion as well as 20,000 lights in trees surrounding it.
Mariah’s secret recipe
With the help of a sous chef, she cooks ‘secret family recipes from my dad’
On Christmas Eve, the children ski and snowboard, while Carey can be spotted in a designer ski outfit (Dior or Chanel) shopping in Aspen’s chi-chi stores. (A workaholic, Carey says she rarely gets time to shop during the year.)
Then it’s back to the ski lodge and into the kitchen where, with the help of a sous chef, she cooks ‘secret family recipes from my dad’.
In the evening, the family get an early visit from Santa Claus — who arrives in a sleigh pulled by reindeer — and they all pose for pictures by the tree.
Or, in Carey’s case, trees.
Festive fun — but not too early
None of Mariah’s family gets up too early on Christmas morning — woe betide the excited child, or adult, who disturbs the beauty sleep of the lady of the house.
Proceedings don’t start until she is up and ready, usually dressed in Father Christmas-themed onesie or pyjamas. (‘If I wake up and there’s no Christmas music playing, I get very annoyed and have to handle it,’ she has said.)
As the adults sip eggnog, the family open presents. Carey says she tries to teach her children to appreciate what they’re given — but photographs she has previously posted online show the twins almost drowning in gifts (right).
None of Mariah’s family gets up too early on Christmas morning — woe betide the excited child, or adult, who disturbs the beauty sleep of the lady of the house. Pictured with her kids
Given her professed ‘born-again’ Christian faith — Carey is an Episcopalian (the U.S. branch of Anglicanism) — it’s assumed she goes to church at Christmas. Before she had children, she said she liked to attend a candlelit midnight mass at a local church, but she hasn’t mentioned any recent Christmas church-goings.
Hold the sprouts
When it comes to feasting, Carey doesn’t mess with the classics. An elaborate ‘traditional American’ Christmas dinner includes turkey, mashed potato, stuffing and cranberry sauce, although Carey isn’t keen on Brussels sprouts.
It’s Xmas everyday
Mariah Carey’s Christmas season lasts for a tinsel-tastic eight months. This year, it began on November 1, when she posted online a video promoting her new album of her waking up to a call from Santa Claus.
And the festive spirit will remain with her until next summer, as she admits that, with the help of a humidifier, the Christmas trees at her homes in Los Angeles and New York stay up until Independence Day on July 4.
Song we all love to hate
According to Carey, she wrote All I Want For Christmas Is You 25 years ago after decorating her tree and watching the quintessential Yuletide film It’s A Wonderful Life.
Working with Walter Afanasieff, her then-collaborator, she sat at the piano to work her happiest memories into a festive love song. It took them 15 minutes.
Carey recorded it the following August, when she had Christmas trees and lights brought into the studio to ‘get us in the mood’.
Released in 1994, it has become the bestselling modern Christmas song and made Carey synonymous with the festive season.
This year, she’s belting out the tune again in the new Walkers Crisps advert, for which she was paid a reported £9 million.
But others are trying to stop the song in its slushy tracks. According to a survey, Britons rate it as the most annoying holiday song ever (beating Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas?, Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday and Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody).
Meanwhile, a gin shop in York has banned it (and other ‘cheesy’ Christmas classics) for the sake of staff morale. The manager says employees at other stores are maddened by being forced to listen to overused Christmas songs. However, she added that she would be willing to relax the ban if Mariah Carey were to appear in person.
Millions of record sales
The prolific songstress, who has sold 200 million records, is worth around £230 million.
Her smash hit All I Want For Christmas Is You has sold an estimated 16 million copies and contributed a bauble-bursting £48 million to her fortune, with royalties worth £400,000 a year.
But Carey needs to keep earning to pay for her obscenely extravagant lifestyle, which reportedly includes spending £76,000 a month on exotic flowers and bathing in milk.
The prolific songstress, who has sold 200 million records, is worth around £230 million
On Santa’s nice list
The notoriously demanding Carey makes no secret of her somewhat dictatorial attitude when it comes to Christmas.
‘I will only allow a harmonious day in my house — you have to comply or you can get out,’ she has said in a magazine interview.
‘That’s how you avoid the arguments.
‘You’re not invited if you’re going to cause any drama. There are no fights on Christmas.’
The notoriously demanding Carey makes no secret of her somewhat dictatorial attitude when it comes to Christmas
A cool place to stay
The festive season will be spent in a $22 million (£17 million) five-bedroom mansion in a billionaires’ ski resort, which Mariah rents for $10,000 (£7,500) a night.
- Some of the greatest Christmas albums of all time
- A complete list of objects that Apple Photos can recognize
- What it’s really like to be a professional Santa Claus
All I Want For Christmas Is... a private jet, $22m ski lodge, 19ft tree and a horse drawn sleigh! Welcome to Mariah Carey's blingtastic festive blowout... have 1561 words, post on www.dailymail.co.uk at December 10, 2019. This is cached page on Movie News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.