My favorite Christmas song for my teenage years has been Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You.” Her smash hit came out in 2011 and has topped the Billboard Holiday Top 100 charts forty-seven weeks, out of the fifty-two weeks it has run. Overall, this song has gained massive success. I enjoy it because of the upbeat tempo and impressive vocal range, but there is a deeper message that can be gleaned from this modern-day classic.
A parable that comes to mind is that of the ninety-nine sheep and the one that wanders off. Jesus said that a good shepherd would leave the flock to find the one lost sheep. This song reminds me of that message, that despite all the noise and all the people we are constantly surrounded by during this season, Jesus still loves each one of us specifically, individually.
Along with this meaning, I think there’s another message for us to act on. In two lyrics she sings, “I don’t care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree” and “I just want you here tonight/Holding onto me so tight,” which points to what we should treasure this holiday season: Our relationships with God, family, and friends. The materialism surrounding the holiday can make it difficult to offer gifts of time and service to our loved ones, but this is often the best way to show our love.
Overall, this song that is widely viewed as a commercialized version of Christmas can remind us of the two most important and meaningful elements of Christmas: God’s love for us, and how we can love God, love our neighbor, and love ourselves.