Mariah Carey Is Trying to Trademark ‘Queen of Christmas,’ and Other Holiday Singers Aren’t Happy

Mariah Carey

Earlier this year, Mariah Carey’s legal team filed a trademark request for the phrase Queen of Christmas that was both expansive and not limited to products typically associated with the holiday.

Here are some of the dozens of goods and services covered in the filing:

  •     Dog clothing, collars, and leashes
  •     Face masks
  •     Milk and “beverages having a milk base,“ plus oat milk, rice milk, nut milk, and other non-dairy alternatives
  •     Lingerie, T-shirts, sweatshirts, headwear, “one-piece garments for children,“ and other clothing
  •     Perfume, lotion, make-up, nail polish, and other beauty and cosmetic products
  •     Jewelry and jewelry boxes
  •     Backpacks
  •     Cups, mugs, corkscrews, and cocktail shakers
  •     Beer, wine, liqueurs, and other alcoholic beverages
  •     Carbonated and non-carbonated drinks, “water beverages,“ fruit juices, and other non-alcoholic drinks
  •     Eyeglasses, sunglasses, and glasses cases
  •     Christmas tree decorations
  •     Posters, children’s stories, and Christmas-themed books
  •     Musical recordings, performances, programs, and more

In short, the “All I Want for Christmas Is You” singer appears to be preparing to lean into—and profit from—the nickname with an enthusiasm at odds with some of her past remarks. During a 2021 appearance on The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, for example, Carey said it was “other people” who christened her the queen of Christmas. “[I] just want to humbly say that I don’t consider myself that,” she said.

As Variety reports, Carey’s history of rejecting the title is one of the arguments that Elizabeth Chan’s attorney made in a recent declaration of opposition submitted to the trademark appeals board. Chan, who exclusively writes and sings Christmas music, has also been called the “queen of Christmas” in the media for years—most notably in a 2018 New Yorker profile titled “The Queen of Christmas.” She’s been far less ambivalent about wearing the crown. “Official Site of The Queen of Christmas,” her website says; and her latest album is titled The Queen of Christmas.

But Chan isn’t trying to knock down Carey’s trademark request to monopolize the moniker herself. “If you knit a ‘queen of Christmas’ sweater, you should be able to sell it on Etsy to somebody else so they can buy it for their grandma,” she told Variety. Another queen of Christmas has expressed frustration with Carey’s motion, too: Darlene Love, who performed her signature “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” for nearly 30 holiday seasons on David Letterman’s late-night show. 

David Letterman officially declared me the Queen of Christmas 29 years ago, a year before [Carey] released ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ and at 81 years of age I’m NOT changing anything, Love wrote in a Facebook post.

Whether Carey will abandon pursuit of the trademark remains to be seen. It’s not the first time her holiday legacy has rankled other artists (and bar owners); she was also recently sued for copyright infringement by singers of another song called “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

By Ellen Gutoskey, Mental Floss