The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Office DJ: Mariah is in the air


Clay Morris Elevate Co-Editor

Do you feel that? The hint of Mariah in the wind that has increasingly intensified as the months transitioned from October to December. 

Yes, it’s true: it’s officially Mariah Carey season. 

Now I must admit, for me, it’s always Mariah season. Every day is Mariah Day. But it warms me to know that for at least one part of the year everyone suddenly has taste and indulges in the wonder of the elusive chanteuse and queen of Christmas: Mariah Carey. 

You quite literally cannot spell Christmas without MC.  

But there’s far more to Christmas than rejoicing in the global appreciation of the world’s ultimate pop diva (who happens to have 19 #1 records). 

There’s the comfort of my mother’s incomparable macaroni and cheese. Running to take chocolate out of the family advent calendar, only to realize that my little brother has eaten every piece inside of it. Trying to hit every note in the Mary J. Blige and Clark Sisters’ version of “The First Noel.” The feeling of satisfaction after placing the tree topper on the 9-foot live tree that my mother insists upon getting every year. Belting "Brown, young virgin" instead of "round, yon virgin" in "Silent Night." And replacing the Cheetah Girls’ names in “Cheetah-licious Christmas” with mine and my friends, even though it entirely throws off the melody of the song.

Being gay, I almost feel contractually obligated to love Halloween more. But there’s something about Christmas and being able to wear a black turtleneck while rush shopping for a Christmas present in your local mall like a Hallmark movie romantic lead — that makes me feel gayer than Halloween ever could. 

Ah, silver bells, silver bells. 

Even the color palette of Christmas is the most decadent of all the holidays. Who doesn’t want to look out of their car window and see everything looking like a huge Italian flag: velvety reds, lush greens and icy whites. The glamor of the gold, black and silver of the new year is a close second, but nothing compares to a color palette so identifiable that it makes seeing red and green any other time of the year almost repulsive. 

Music, though, is really what makes Christmas for me. 

I was once told that I was chaotic for not only listening to Christmas music in a specific playlist, and instead shuffling my entire music library and not skipping Christmas music when it comes on in July, March or May. But how can I deny the deliciousness of Ariana Grande’s “Oh Santa” floating through my ears, regardless of whether I’ve received a text from my mom with a Black Santa emoji notifying me of my flight back home to Mississippi? 

Christmas and its music are cognate to an unparalleled joy. And while it may only be considered socially appropriate to belt out “All I Want for Christmas Is You” late November through December, that song, and all of the other Christmas classics, capture a feeling that we all love even if we pretend to hate it (just like Mariah.)


To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.

Special Print Edition
The Daily Tar Heel Victory Paper for November 20, 2023