Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Mariah Carey's 'All I Want for Christmas Is You' and Its Lyrics

Unwrap these fun facts about the ultimate Christmas caroler's record-breaking, holiday hit

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey. Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty

Is "All I Want for Christmas Is You" stuck in your head? Same.

As soon as you hear the jingling of the bells and the iconic whistle tones of Mariah Carey's 1994 Christmas classic-turned-holiday anthem, you know the "most wonderful time of the year" is officially here.

You may know every lyric to the chart-topping tune, but there are many interesting facts that you should know about the song — which became diamond certified by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) in 2021.

"All I Want for Christmas Is You" reached an epic milestone becoming the first RIAA Diamond holiday song in recorded music history! Decades after its debut, the Christmas queen's hit single continues to break records.

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey. Sony Music

Each holiday season, the song makes its annual sleigh ride up the Billboard Hot 100 chart, but in 2019, "All I Want for Christmas Is You" reached No. 1 during its 25th anniversary year. In 2021, the holiday hit earned the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Greatest of All Time Holiday 100 Songs retrospective.

Clearly, Carey's carol is a seasonal staple beloved by many and a reflection of the singer's love of the holiday. "Christmastime really is my favorite part of the year," she told PEOPLE while discussing her holiday "do's and don'ts."

The pop icon isn't letting her record-breaking single stand alone in the Christmas genre. She also released "Fall in Love at Christmas," her 2021 collaboration with Khalid and Kirk Franklin.

Her holiday happenings don't stop there. Carey hosted a Christmas extravaganza with her 2021 holiday special, Mariah's Christmas: The Magic Continue, which premiered on Apple TV+ on Dec. 3. She is also set to perform two Christmas-themed concerts in Toronto and New York City in December 2022.

Mariah Carey Christmas
Legacy Recordings

Now, let's tune back into the catchy Christmas classic for some super fun facts about "All I Want for Christmas Is You."

The song broke three records in the Guinness World Records.

The jingle jam saw an exciting year in 2019 when it earned three spots in the Guinness World Records. Carey's hit holds records in the following categories: The highest-charting holiday (Christmas/New Year) song on the Hot 100 by a solo artist, the most streamed track on Spotify in 24 hours and the most weeks in the UK singles Top 10 chart for a Christmas song.

Mariah Carey Christmas
Mariah Carey receives a Guinness World Record award for "All I Want for Christmas is You" as her kids watch on stage. Denise Truscello/Getty Images

The song was actually written pretty quickly.

The Christmas classic was co-written alongside Carey's then-writing partner, Walter Afanasieff. Though it has long been reported that the song only took 15 minutes to write, Carey later revealed to Parade that the time frame was a little bit longer than that.

She explained: "I started writing that on a little DX7 or Casio keyboard that was in this little room in the house that I lived in at the time in Upstate New York lifetimes ago. Just writing down everything that I thought about. All the things that reminded me of Christmas that made me feel festive that I wanted other people to feel."

Although the song was written quite quickly, the recording process took longer.

"We did take some time doing the record because if you listen to all those background vocals and all that stuff, you can't do it in five minutes," Carey told the outlet. "It's literally impossible unless you had three choirs.

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey. Terence Patrick/CBS via Getty

She didn't want to do the song at first.

Before dropping "All I Want for Christmas Is You," Carey had only released two albums and thought it was too early in her musical career to put out Christmas music. In contrast to her belief that holiday music was something "people did later on," she said during a Bobby Bones Show interview that due to her love of Christmas, she decided to give the song a shot.

Carey didn't think the song would become the hit it is today.

The singer doubted the song's success at the time of its release because putting out Christmas music wasn't as popular for pop artists to do compared to today. When Billboard asked if she thought "All I Want for Christmas Is You" would be the album's biggest hit, she said, "Nooo."

She explained: "20 years ago, Christmas music and Christmas albums by artists weren't the big deal that they are today. Back then, you didn't have a lot of artists with Christmas albums; It wasn't a known science at all back then, and there was nobody who did new, big Christmas songs."

Mariah Carey Christmas
Mariah Carey. Apple TV+

She decked the studio in Christmas decor during the recording session.

Since the song was recorded in August, Carey thought it only appropriate to give the studio a Christmas-y feel. In an effort to get into a holiday mindset and allow the festive feeling to come through in the song, she took action.

"The studio looked like Christmas," producer Randy Jackson said in Amazon Music's Mariah Carey Is Christmas: The Story of "All I Want for Christmas Is You" mini-documentary. "The temperature was cold. There were, like, ornaments, there were Christmas trees, there were Christmas candles."

Mariah Carey - All I Want for Christmas Is You
Mariah Carey’s new music video for “All I Want for Christmas Is You”. Mariah Carey/Youtube

Her favorite lyric in the song is, "I won't even wish for snow."

"[It's my favorite line] because I always wish for snow," Carey said in Amazon Music's mini-documentary. She added, "I always want it to be, like, a special, festive winter wonderland."

Since Los Angeles isn't necessarily the definition of a "winter wonderland," Carey takes a special trip to Aspen, Colorado, each year to get her snowy fix.

Mariah Carey and Moroccan. Mariah Carey/Instagram

The song was banned from playing at a bar.

The song may be a festive fan favorite, but not for everyone! A local bar posted a sign banning the song, stating that it will be skipped if played before Dec. 1 and only allowed to be played once a night after Dec. 1. The bar — that is most likely making the singer's naughty list — issued the statement in October 2021.

Clapping back at a tweet that read, "Is this the war on Christmas I've heard about," Carey posted an image from her Game of War video game campaign — looking ready to prepare for battle.

Mariah's twins are in the music video remake.

In honor of the 25th anniversary of "All I Want for Christmas Is You," Carey released a new music video of the holiday classic — with little guest stars. Her twins, Moroccan and Monroe, made appearances in the production that she described as "kind of the opposite of the original video."

The twins were 8 years old in the 2019 music video, and two years later, they made another cameo in Carey's "Fall in Love at Christmas" visual.

Mariah Carey Christmas
Mariah Carey/YouTube

No live instruments were used while recording.

Yes, you read that right! When you listen to the song, it sounds like there's a live orchestra playing the iconic chords and melodies beneath Carey's vocals, but according to Afanasieff, the song was never recorded with a band.

"We did other songs during the sessions with the band. But there was never a version [of "All I Want for Christmas Is You"] with a band," he told Variety. "I think we might've tried it, and it just didn't sound as good. It needed to be brighter, more fun and more of what I thought a Christmas song should be on the radio, so I kept all of my synth/sequencer parts, computer parts."

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