Mariah Carey Explains Why She'd Go All Out for an Extravagant Christmas 'Even If I Didn't Have Kids'

The singer said her love for Christmas comes from a "longing that I had as a child, that I always wanted things to be perfect for the holidays, and they never were"

Mariah Carey Elle Cover Story

The holidays aren't only for the little ones!

In a new interview for Elle's special digital holiday edition, Mariah Carey opens up about why Christmas is such an important time for her. The singer, 50 — whose Magical Christmas Special hits Apple TV+ on Friday — described herself as "eternally 12" and said the holiday season is "maybe the one time that I got to breathe for a second."

"After I kind of emerged from my first relationship-slash-marriage [to Tommy Mottola] I created the Christmases that I wanted to have," she told the magazine, adding of her troubled childhood: "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."

As for her annual Christmas celebration, the mother of two explained: "I literally go to a snowy place. Reindeer are there — I'm not making this up. Santa Claus comes, hangs out with the kids. And by the way, even if I didn't have kids, I would be doing this."

Mariah Carey Elle Cover Story

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"I think it's just that longing that I had as a child, that I always wanted things to be perfect for the holidays. And they never were," Carey added to the magazine. "It was always somebody ruining the moment, always these dysfunctional family members who came around and foiled everything. And so I just made a pact with myself that I wasn't going to allow that to happen anymore."

With her perennial hit "All I Want for Christmas Is You" and her new star-studded special, Carey said she hopes to supply some much-needed holiday cheer after a rough 2020.

"It's been such a hard year, and I really feel like people so need a celebratory moment. At every turn, it's like, 'We can't be [together]; you can't celebrate. This is canceled; that's canceled,'" she told Elle.

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"I came to [the new Christmas special] with the spirit of 'Let's make it festive no matter what,'" Carey said. "If you go into anything with that kind of hopefulness, then it'll happen."

With the craziness of the pandemic, the Magical Christmas Special will follow Carey as she helps her "great friend" Santa to save Christmas 2020. The event will feature musical performances, dancing, and animations — as well as a cameo from Carey's 9-year-old twins, Moroccan and Monroe (aka "Roc and Roe").

"Let's get festive!!!" Carey wrote on Twitter last month, revealing the glittery poster for the special, which sees the star perched on a decorative wreath dressed in red.

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