With a new line for M.A.C Cosmetics that includes season-worthy shades with names such as Butterfly Bling, Mariah Carey remains one of music and fashion's most beloved figures. Lending her trademark dazzle to the holiday window unveiling for Hudson's Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue on Nov. 3, Carey's enthusiasm for the season was as strong as ever; she even looked like a present, wrapped in a bow-detailed silk gown from Anna Maier.
Despite her busy schedule this month – her third year of performances at New York's Beacon Theatre run until Dec. 17 – Carey makes time to see the iconic tree at Rockafeller Center and gets into the spirit with a soundtrack of favourites by The Jackson Five, Luther Vandross and Stevie Wonder. Yet as much as she loves celebrating in her hometown of the Big Apple, Aspen is another of Carey's favourite December destinations. "It's always a white Christmas there," she says. "I grew up as a kid with no money, and my mom trying her best, and I think about now... I can bring my extended family with me, and we have a great time."
Such an idyllic getaway is suitable for the star, who says Santa drops by each year to say hello. "He'll do that every year as long as my kids believe," she says. Carey's own magical moment comes when she indulges in a favourite holiday treat, hot cocoa with butterscotch schnapps, and a ride on a two-horse open sleigh. "I live for the holidays. But I do understand that some people have a hard time. I think either people need to be detached from it – do your own thing – or try to get a group of people together that you like. Do anything you can to not be lonesome."
Quite how much her career, spanning over 25 years, has afforded her isn't lost on the singer-songwriter, who lavishes loved ones with clothing, shoes and jewellery. Carey also relishes the opportunity to give gifts first before unwrapping her own. "I have that moment to really enjoy it and watch them enjoying their gifts," she says. But, even a person synonymous with the holiday spirit gets Scrooged on occasion: "I got a used bottle of cologne from someone who's name I won't say. It was a long time ago – it was really bad!"