10 Facts About Mariah Carey's 'All I Want for Christmas Is You'

Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images
Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

In 1994, Mariah Carey surprised everyone—including herself—by coming out with what would quickly become a Christmas classic. “All I Want for Christmas is You” was catchy and timeless and, at the same time, distinctly "Mariah." No one expected it of such a young artist, but perhaps it was the singer’s deep love for the holiday season and her dedication to getting the feeling right while channeling the melody and the words that made everything come together in a way that now seems like destiny. Here’s the story of that song, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

1. Mariah Carey thought it was too soon in her career to make a Christmas album.

In 1993, Mariah Carey was enjoying the success of her third best-selling album Music Box when she and her management team, comprised of Sony CEO and then-husband Tommy Mottola, began mapping out possible future projects. Someone suggested a Christmas album, but conventional wisdom was that artists don’t record Christmas music at the peak of their careers; that was something they saved for later in life, as their popularity was waning. However, Carey decided to ignore conventional wisdom and give a Christmas album a try.

2. The original plan was to simply cover classic holiday songs.

At first, according to a recent Amazon Music mini documentary on the song, Carey and her team thought she might just put her unique stamp on Christmas songs already in the public domain. “To come up with an original holiday song that becomes a hit?” well-known producer and American Idol judge Randy Jackson said in the documentary. “Next to impossible.” But Mariah Carey isn’t the type to balk at a challenge, and she got to work.

“What I did was, I said, ‘Let me try and get into the Christmas spirit,” Carey recalled. She was living in a house in upstate New York at the time and, even though it wasn’t Christmas, she decorated a little tree and played It’s A Wonderful Life on the TV downstairs while she experimented with a melody on the piano upstairs. She made a list of things she had associated with Christmas since childhood: “I wanted [the song] to feel like something I could have grown up listening to.”

3. “All I Want for Christmas is You” has a strong 1960s influence.

Instead of sounding like it came out of 1994, “All I Want for Christmas Is You” ended up having a very recognizable 1960s vibe. “I was trying to do my own version of the ‘Wall of Sound,’ those background vocal parts that become almost the lead,” Carey said. She’s referring specifically to notorious music producer Phil Spector’s famous “Wall of Sound” effect, and most critics would probably agree that the song’s vocals are also reminiscent of Spector-produced female groups like The Ronettes or The Crystals.

“It was not of the time, and it is not of the time,” Carey said of the song’s non-‘90s sound. Two videos were made for the song—the full-color version that pretty much everyone knows, and a black-and-white version (which you can watch above) in which Carey wears white go-go boots, a ‘60s bouffant hairstyle, and a belted minidress as a nod to Ronnie Spector.

4. Before Mariah Carey recorded "All I Want for Christmas Is You," she decked the studio out in Christmas decorations.

Much like when she began writing the song, Carey wanted to make sure all the accoutrements of Christmas were around her when “All I Want for Christmas is You” was recorded—even though it was August. But she wanted the authenticity of the Christmas feeling to come through in the song. “The studio looked like Christmas,” producer Randy Jackson said. “The temperature was cold. There were, like, ornaments, there were Christmas trees, there were Christmas candles.”

5. “All I Want for Christmas is You” has become a modern “standard” of Christmas songs.

All I Want For Christmas Is You CD Single
Legacy Recordings via Amazon

"All I Want for Christmas Is You" is the most downloaded holiday single of all time. As of now, according to Tech Times, the song is the 11th highest-selling single of all time—and it has earned Carey a cool $50 million.

6. Mariah Carey’s deep love of the christmas season, and always wanting to make it perfect, played into the song's creation.

“Mariah Carey is Christmas,” Randy Jackson said in the Amazon Music documentary. “I used to call her Mariah Claus.” However, the winter holiday season is a difficult time for many people and families and, growing up, Carey was no stranger to that. “The thing is, I always wanted Christmas to be perfect,” Carey said. “And I always looked forward to the holidays. And then I have this incredibly dysfunctional family that would ruin it every year. Not my mom—my mom would try to make it fun—but we didn’t have a lot of money, so sometimes she would wrap up fruit and whatever it was she could afford. And I was like: When I grow up, I’m never going to let that happen. I’m going to make Christmas perfect every year.”

7. Mariah Carey’s favorite line in "All I Want for Christmas Is You" is “I won’t even wish for snow.”

“[It’s my favorite line] because I always wish for snow,” Carey explained in the documentary. “I always want it to be, like, a special, festive winter wonderland.” Now that she has her own children, Carey goes to Aspen for Christmas every year and even hires real reindeer to take her family on sleigh rides.

8. Mariah Carey celebrated the song's 25th anniversary with a tour and the album’s reissue.

In addition to a reissue of Merry Christmas, the album on which “All I Want for Christmas Is You” appears, Carey celebrated the 25th anniversary with a limited tour with dates at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas (where she currently has a residency), as well as concerts in Atlantic City, Washington D.C., Connecticut, and Boston, with the tour wrapping up at Madison Square Garden in New York.

The double-album reissue features a previously unreleased concert at St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York, as well as new remixes of the album’s various tracks.

9. “All I Want for Christmas is You” broke three Guinness World Records in 2019.

In 2019, 25 years after the song's release, Carey broke records for the highest-charting holiday song on the Billboard U.S. Hot 100 by a solo artist, the most streamed track on Spotify in 24 hours (female), and the most weeks in the UK singles Top 10 chart for a Christmas song. Guinness World Records presented Carey with the titles during one of her Caesars Colosseum shows in Las Vegas in November.

10. “All I Want for Christmas is You” just hit No. 1—finally!

Mariah Carey performs onstage during her "All I Want For Christmas Is You" tour at Madison Square Garden on December 15, 2019 in New York City
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for MC

Although it’s been around since 1994, “All I Want for Christmas is You” first hit the Billboard 100 in the year 2000, and it wasn’t until the past decade that it started becoming as wildly popular as it currently is. It reached the top 10 for the first time in 2017, and last year it came out at No. 3. Finally, on December 16, 2019, it hit No. 1 for the first time ever. It's about time!

10 Wireless Chargers Designed to Make Life Easier

La Lucia/Moshi
La Lucia/Moshi

While our smart devices and gadgets are necessary in our everyday life, the worst part is the clumsy collection of cords and chargers that go along with them. Thankfully, there are more streamlined ways to keep your phone, AirPods, Apple Watch, and other electronics powered-up. Check out these 10 wireless chargers that are designed to make your life convenient and connected.

1. Otto Q Wireless Fast Charging Pad; $40

Otto Q Wireless Fast Charging Pad
Moshi

Touted as one of the world's fastest chargers, this wireless model from Moshi is ideal for anyone looking to power-up their phone or AirPods in a hurry. It sports a soft, cushioned design and features a proprietary Q-coil module that allows it to charge through a case as thick as 5mm.

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2. Gotek Wireless Charging Music Station; $57

Gotek Wireless Charging Music Station
Rego Tech

Consolidate your bedside table with this clock, Bluetooth 5.0 speaker, and wireless charger, all in one. It comes with a built-in radio and glossy LED display with three levels of brightness to suit your style.

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3. BentoStack PowerHub 5000; $100 (37 percent off)

BentoStack PowerHub 5000
Function101

This compact Apple accessory organizer will wirelessly charge, port, and store your device accessories in one compact hub. It stacks to look neat and keep you from losing another small piece of equipment.

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4. Porto Q 5K Portable Battery with Built-in Wireless Charger; $85

Porto Q 5K Portable Battery with Built-in Wireless Charger
Moshi

This wireless charger doubles as a portable battery, so when your charge dies, the backup battery will double your device’s life. Your friends will love being able to borrow a charge, too, with the easy, non-slip hook-up.

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5. 4-in-1 Versatile Wireless Charger; $41 (31 percent off)

4-in-1 Versatile Wireless Charger
La Lucia

Put all of those tangled cords to rest with this single, temperature-controlled charging stand that can work on four devices at once. It even has a built-in safeguard to protect against overcharging.

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6. GRAVITIS™ Wireless Car Charger; $20 (31 percent off)

GRAVITIS™ Wireless Car Charger
Origaudio

If you need to charge your phone while also using it as a GPS, this wireless device hooks right into the car’s air vent for safe visibility. Your device will be fully charged within two to three hours, making it perfect for road trips.

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7. Futura X Wireless 15W Fast Charging Pad; $35 (30 percent off)

Futura X Wireless 15W Fast Charging Pad
Bezalel

This incredibly thin, tiny charger is designed for anyone looking to declutter their desk or nightstand. Using a USB-C cord for a power source, this wireless charger features a built-in cooling system and is simple to set up—once plugged in, you just have to rest your phone on top to get it working.

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8. Apple Watch Wireless Charger Keychain; $20 (59 percent off)

Apple Watch Wireless Charger Keychain
Go Gadgets

This Apple Watch charger is all about convenience on the go. Simply attach the charger to your keys or backpack and wrap your Apple Watch around its magnetic center ring. The whole thing is small enough to be easily carried with you wherever you're traveling, whether you're commuting or out on a day trip.

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9. Wireless Charger with 30W Power Delivery & 18W Fast Charger Ports; $55 (38 percent off)

Wireless Charger from TechSmarter
TechSmarter

Fuel up to three devices at once, including a laptop, with this single unit. It can wirelessly charge or hook up to USB and USB-C to consolidate your charging station.

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10. FurniQi Bamboo Wireless Charging Side Table; $150 (24 percent off)

FurniQi Bamboo Wireless Charging Side Table
FoneSalesman

This bamboo table is actually a wireless charger—all you have to do is set your device down on the designated charging spot and you're good to go. Easy to construct and completely discreet, this is a novel way to charge your device while entertaining guests or just enjoying your morning coffee.

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8 Facts About David Bowie's 'Space Oddity'

Express/Express/Getty Images
Express/Express/Getty Images

On July 20, 1969, astronauts walked on the Moon for the first time. Just a few weeks earlier, another space-age event had rocked the world: David Bowie’s single “Space Oddity” hit airwaves. The song, whose lyrics tell the story of an astronaut’s doomed journey into space, helped propel the artist to icon status, and five decades later, it’s still one of his most popular works. 

1. "Space Oddity" was inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Many listeners assumed that "Space Oddity" was riffing on the Apollo 11 Moon landing of 1969, but it was actually inspired by a Stanley Kubrick film released a year earlier. Bowie watched 2001: A Space Odyssey multiple times when it premiered in theaters in 1968. “It was the sense of isolation I related to,” Bowie told Classic Rock in 2012. “I found the whole thing amazing. I was out of my gourd, very stoned when I went to see it—several times—and it was really a revelation to me. It got the song flowing.”

2. "Space Oddity" was also inspired by heartbreak.

The track was also partly inspired by the more universal experience of heartbreak. Bowie wrote the song after ending his relationship with actress Hermione Farthingale. The break inspired several songs, including “Letter to Hermione” and “Life on Mars,” and in “Space Oddity,” Bowie’s post-breakup loneliness and melancholy is especially apparent.

3. "Space Oddity" helped him sign a record deal.

In 1969, a few years into David Bowie’s career, the musician recorded a demo tape with plans to use it to land a deal with Mercury Records. That tape featured an early iteration of “Space Oddity,” and based on the demo, Mercury signed him for a one-album deal. But the song failed to win over one producer. Tony Visconti, who produced Bowie’s self-titled 1969 album, thought the song was a cheap attempt to cash in on the Apollo 11 mission, and he tapped someone else to produce that particular single.

4. The BBC played "Space Oddity" during the Moon landing.

"Space Oddity" was released on July 11, 1969—just five days before NASA launched Apollo 11. The song doesn’t exactly sound like promotional material for the mission. It ends on a somber note, with Major Tom "floating in a tin can" through space. But the timing and general subject matter were too perfect for the BBC to resist. The network played the track over footage of the Moon landing. Bowie later remarked upon the situation, saying, "Obviously, some BBC official said, 'Oh, right then, that space song, Major Tom, blah blah blah, that’ll be great. 'Um, but he gets stranded in space, sir.' Nobody had the heart to tell the producer that."

5. David Bowie recorded an Italian version of "Space Oddity."

The same year "Space Oddity" was released, a different version David Bowie recorded with Italian lyrics was played by radio stations in Italy. Instead of directly translating the English words, the Italian songwriter Mogul was hired to write new lyrics practically from scratch. "Ragazzo Solo, Ragazza Sola" ("Lonely Boy, Lonely Girl") is a straightforward love song, and Major Tom is never mentioned.

6. Major Tom appeared in future songs.

Major Tom, the fictional astronaut at the center of "Space Oddity," is one of the most iconic characters invented for a pop song. It took a decade for him to resurface in David Bowie’s discography. In his 1980 single "Ashes to Ashes," the artists presents a different version of the character, singing: "We know Major Tom's a junkie/Strung out in heaven's high/Hitting an all-time low." Bowie also references Major Tom in "Hallo Spaceboy" from the 1995 album Outside.

7. "Space Oddity" is featured in Chris Hadfield's ISS music video.

When choosing a song for the first music filmed in space, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield naturally went with David Bowie’s out-of-this-world anthem. The video above was recorded on the International Space Station in 2013, with Hadfield playing guitar and singing from space and other performers providing musical accompaniment from Earth. Some lyrics were tweaked for the cover. Hadfield mentions the "Soyuz hatch" of the capsule that would eventually shuttle him to Earth.

8. "Space Oddity" played on the Tesla that Elon Musk sent to space.

Dummy in Tesla roadster in space with Earth in background.
SpaceX via Getty Images

In 2018, Elon Musk used SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket to launch his Tesla Roadster into space. The car was decked out with pop culture Easter eggs—according to Musk, "Space Oddity" was playing over the car’s radio system during the historic journey. The dummy’s name, Starman, is the name of another space-themed song on Bowie's 1972 masterpiece The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.