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LIer Mariah Carey's love of Christmas spurred by 'dysfunctional' upbringing

"Mariah Carey's Magical Christmas Special," will debut globally

"Mariah Carey's Magical Christmas Special," will debut globally Friday, December 4, exclusively on Apple TV+. Credit: Apple TV+

Mariah Carey, whose famous love of Christmas has expressed itself in an iconic song and holiday-themed TV specials and concert residencies, is revealing some of the reasons for the Yuletide's special resonance with her.

"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, 51, who was born in Huntington and raised there and in Melville, Northport and Greenlawn, says in an Elle magazine interview posted Tuesday. "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." As an adult, "I created the Christmases that I wanted to have."

For her and her ex-husband Nick Cannon's 9-year-old twins, Moroccan and Monroe, this has translated into elaborate festivities. "I literally go to a snowy place. Reindeer are there," Carey said, not specifying the locale. "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."

She said she was cognizant of the difficulties many families face this holiday season due to the economic downturn and unemployment resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. "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.' "

In an accompanying video, the five-time Grammy Award-winner added, "I want this Christmas to be amazing for us all. We've really been through a lot this year." She also expressed her admiration for the much-recorded holiday classic "White Christmas," written by Irving Berlin for Bing Crosby for the film "Holiday Inn" (1942) and popularized in a 1947 recording. "Never performed it, never recorded it, do love it," Carey said. "Don't think it's been topped; don't think it [can] be topped."

Overall, she said playfully in the video, "I'm festive. I can't help it!"

Her latest holiday offering, "Mariah Carey's Magical Christmas Special," premieres Friday on Apple TV Plus.

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