How do you write a Christmas classic? Mariah Carey insists, “There is no secret formula!”

Courtesy of Apple TV+

Mariah Carey‘s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is back on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a record third straight year. But Mariah says even now, after all its success, she’s not quite sure why the song, which she originally released in 1994, has become a bona fide Christmas classic.

In an interview she did to promote her latest Apple TV+ holiday special, Mariah’s Christmas: The Magic Continues, Mariah admits, “I don’t know how to explain it. It was just the moment. At first, I doubted it, too. I was like, ‘Why would I do a Christmas song now? This is so early in my life and my career.’ But I’m so thankful that I did because it came out from a pure place.”

She continues, “I think one of the things that has given it the longevity that it has is that it doesn’t feel like one specific era, you know what I mean? Like, we did it so that it would feel like a modern classic.”

“All I Want for Christmas Is You” wasn’t eligible to enter the Billboard Hot 100 in 1994 because it wasn’t commercially available as a single. That rule changed, and now, every year since 2012, the song has returned to the chart; for the past three years, it’s reached number one.

“You know, Christmas songs, a lot of people do them now earlier in their careers,” Mariah notes. “But it does take a long time to sort of permeate the world’s…’Christmas radar.’ And you just gotta hold on and live with it. And if it’s a true hit that resonates with people, then that’s what it’s gonna be.”

She adds, “I don’t know the magic. There is no secret formula. It is just, like, what it is.”

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There was an error in the bonus clue given out on Saturday, December 11, at Big Red’zzz Furniture and Mattress in Springdale. If you have that bonus clue, replace “twenty” with “fourteen.” We apologize for the error and good luck on your hunt!