A CHRISTMAS CAREY

Measuring Christmas creep through “All I Want for Christmas Is You”

Mariah Carey is unavoidable come Christmas time.
Mariah Carey is unavoidable come Christmas time.
Image: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
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At Quartz, we have historically measured Christmas creep, the way the holiday season seems to come a little earlier every year, by the date when Christmas lights appear on Oxford Street, London’s most famous shopping thoroughfare. This year, there is a new metric in town.

Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” is one of the most popular songs of all time. According to the Economist, the song has already netted Carey more than $60 million in royalties. It seems to be only getting bigger.

Come holiday times, Carey’s Christmas anthem shoots up the Billboard Hot 100—the American music industry’s standard for ranking the most popular songs in a given week. Since 2012, when Billboard changed their rules to allow older songs to appear on the charts, it has arrived a little sooner each year. In 2018, the song charted earlier than ever, appearing at number 29 on the rankings for Nov. 16–22.

Before we know it, “All I Want for Christmas is You” will be the song of summer.

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