Day Seven: Is “All I Want for Christmas is You” Overplayed?

Lily Botelho and Ryan Rose

Lily Botelho: “Yes, it is!”

If you exist anywhere in America and turn on your car radio during the month of December, you’ve definitely been bombarded with the incessant singing of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You”. Every. Other. Song. This song has been a plague on society since its release in 1994, and frankly it’s time to move on. The song itself is decent enough and actually has a catchy tune and some quotable lyrics, but the relentless playing of it everywhere you go for the entirety of the Christmas season should be considered a form of torture. I don’t consider myself a grinch, in fact I love Christmas, but I feel like we as a society need to draw our limits somewhere. 

“All I Want for Christmas is You” already hit the billboard charts in early November 2021 at number 105 and is on track to keep climbing like it has every year since 1994. The song has hit number 1 every year since 2019, over 22 years past its release. It has even sold over 3,000 physical copies in just one week this year according to NBC Philadelphia. It may be considered a Christmas classic, but no one sees “Jingle Bells” hitting number one on the Billboard charts; there needs to be a balance. This song has been streamed more than 683 million times since 2010, according to data from Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, Amazon, and Apple Music. It may have been a good song and fun to hear over and over again in the 90’s, but it has been almost 30 years at this point. America, it’s time to move on.

Ryan Rose: “No, it’s not!”

In 1994, Mariah Carey released her debut Christmas album, “Merry Christmas” that would be followed by her follow up album “Merry Christmas II You”. In 2019 she celebrated the 25th anniversary of her original Christmas record with the release of an anniversary edition of the classic hits now featuring songs off of her other Christmas album, interludes, previously unheard acapella,  live performances, and remixes of her original songs. All three of these albums feature their own versions of “All I Want for Christmas is You”. The original album featured the original song itself, while her second album “Merry Christmas II You” featured a new version of the song with a new intro and additional background vocals. The 25th anniversary edition of the original “Merry Christmas” featured not only the original song, but also “All I Want for Christmas is You (Live at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine)”, “All I Want for Christmas is You (feat. Jermaine Dupri & Bow Wow) [So So Def Remix]”, and “All I Want for Christmas is You (Mariah’s New Dance Mix Extended 2009)”. Together, these songs have caused “All I Want for Christmas is You” to become a worldwide hit recognized by almost all. 

The success of Mariah’s hit song alone validates that it isn’t overplayed. The song has been beloved by all and the song’s statistics prove that. The classic Christmas hit became Mariah’s 19th number one hit in 2019, which is more number one hits than any other solo artist in the world. This was the first Christmas song to top the popular charts in over 60 years and for good reason. Since then, the song hit number one again in 2020 and carried its status into January of 2021. It’s expected to hit number once more this December as well. The song also broke the record for how many times a song has been played in one day on Spotify. These statistics prove the general public holds great love for the song and indeed want it to be played just as much as it already is. The songstress has been able to perform on multiple legs of her “All I Want for Christmas is You Tour” that spanned from 2014-2019, before the pandemic hit. While the tour stopped with the pandemic, Mariah spread her “All I Want for Christmas is You” legacy in 2020 when she released her first Apple TV Special, “Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special”, featuring the song in 2020. Just this year on December 3rd a sequel, “Mariah’s Christmas: The Magic Continues”, was released on the streaming platform. Mariah has had numerous other Christmas engagements, all that can likely be traced back to “All I Want for Christmas is You”. This year alone, the self-proclaimed “Elusive Chanteuse” has a promotional menu with McDonalds for 12 days in December, a new set of trading cards that emulates the insides of Mariah Carey’s wallet, and Mariah Carey themed Christmas goods from outfits for your dog to her very own Mariah Carey themed wrapping paper. This song has clearly created a whole empire of Christmas themed festivities for Mariah, her lambs (her fans), and everyone else who celebrates the holiday; so much so that it has deemed her as the Queen of Christmas. How can a song that has proven to be so successful be considered overplayed?