Mariah Carey Is Spreading 'Love' with New Christmas Song and Apple TV+ Special: 'We All Need Grace'

Mariah Carey's "Fall in Love at Christmas" will see its first performance during the TV special Mariah’s Christmas: The Magic Continue

Nobody spreads holiday cheer quite like Mariah Carey — and this year, fans are getting a double dose of festive fun thanks to a new single and a new TV special.

The pop icon gave the world an early Christmas present with the release of the Khalid and Kirk Franklin collaboration "Fall in Love at Christmas," a holiday single that will see its debut performance on Carey's upcoming Apple TV+ special Mariah's Christmas: The Magic Continues.

"I love 'Fall in Love at Christmas' because I love that it's a departure—it's a love song, and then it's a spiritual song," the 52-year-old tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. "I say, 'We pray at this Christmastime,' like, love is something we need to give away. Let's give love away. It's really trying to say that we're in a really screwed up place in the world. We all need grace upon grace upon grace."

Carey, 52, says she's "extremely happy" with how the song — which she co-wrote — has been received since its Nov. 5 release, and explains that part of its appeal lies in the fact that its lyrics are reflective of her real-life Christmas spirit.

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey. Terence Patrick/CBS via Getty

"I have my own favorite lyrics from this song. I remember just like, the very first night I started playing with it, and messing around with the idea… There's a line in the body of the song that goes, 'And the candles glow/I'm awake but no one knows/Just waiting patiently to hear the sleigh bells jingle/There they go.' To me, that is a real moment that I experience every year," she says. "I just love these moments where you're able to give a glimpse of yourself to the fans."

The "Emotions" singer cemented herself as a Christmas legend in 1994 with the release of "All I Want for Christmas Is You," a glittering, sleigh bell-filled take on the old-fashioned Christmas list that went on to become the best-selling Christmas single by a female artist.

For more on Mariah Carey, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here.

As someone who lays claim to the ultimate addition to the holiday songs canon, does Carey feel pressure to measure up to its success with subsequent holiday releases?

"I don't feel pressure in writing songs, whether it's Christmas songs or other songs, because if it's something that you're feeling, then that's what you're writing," she says. "As a writer, that's how I kind of look at things. I guess other people are like, 'Whoa, she's competing with 'All I Want for Christmas Is You.' No, I'm not. 'Cause I can't. I personally can never compete with my own song."

RELATED VIDEO: Mariah Carey Celebrates First Night of Hanukkah by Teaching Twins Moroccan and Monroe a New Song

The five-time Grammy winner says she got her love of the season from her "festive" mother — and has certainly passed down the passion to her 10-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe.

The children, whom Carey lovingly refers to as "Dem Babies," will address that love in her upcoming Apple TV+ special, sans filter, the proud mom teases.

"These guys are honest and I was really happy when I watched it back," she says of her kids. "'Cause honestly, when you're in a 60-lb. dress, you can't be looking back to check like, 'Okay, what kind of face is Rocky making right now? What kind of thing is Monroe doing?' So it was really sweet because they do say they love it. They think they love it more than me, [but] we came to the conclusion that we all love it the same amount."

Carey serves as an executive producer of the special, which will debut on Dec. 3 and is directed by Joseph Kahn, who has shot iconic music videos such as Britney Spears' "Toxic" and Carey's updated 2019 "All I Want for Christmas Is You" video.

"It's just honestly, it's a magical time for me. It really is my most favorite time of year," the superstar says. "[But] I also love summer, I love a lot. It's not just like, 'Oh, I'm only emerging from the sea at Christmastime.' Honestly, that stuff makes me laugh and i live for it and the truth is if I had to do that, I would do it."

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