The Queen of Christmas wasn't always swimming in holiday cheer.
Mariah Carey has revealed why she loves Christmas so much -- and it has nothing to do with her own music getting heavy rotation throughout the holiday season.
In a new interview with Elle, Carey explained that her affinity for Christmas sprung from her lack of a stable environment -- especially during the holidays -- growing up. It wasn't until her divorce from Tommy Mottola that she started to celebrate the way she wanted.
"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 told the publication. "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."
In her memoir, Carey wrote at length about her contentious relationships with her mother and siblings when she was younger -- and claimed her sister Alison "drugged me with Valium, offered me a pinky nail full of cocaine, inflicted me with third-degree burns and tried to sell me out to a pimp" when she was just 12.
"A lot of very bad stuff happened to me when I was 12," she continued, telling the publication she's "eternally 12." She added, "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."
"After I kind of emerged from my first relationship–slash–marriage, I created the Christmases that I wanted to have," Carey told Elle.
Of her holidays now, the singer said she goes to a "snowy place" with reindeer and visits from St. Nick. "I'm not making this up. Santa Claus comes, hangs out with the kids," she explained. "And by the way, even if I didn't have kids, I would be doing this."
"I do live from Christmas to Christmas; it's the only thing I look forward to every year," she added. "Well, it's not the only thing ... but it's truly the best time of year for me."
"Mariah Carey's Magical Christmas Special" debuts Friday, December 4 on Apple TV+.