There’s a New Queen of Christmas This Year

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images

If you thought this year’s biggest mother-off was happening onscreen in May December, you’d be mistaken. It actually took place on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” tried to defend its reigning holiday No. 1 position from Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” In the end, the 1958 tune — which Lee recorded at age 13 — finally made it to the top of the chart after years at No. 2.

Lee has been on offense this season, pushing “Rockin’” extra hard in its 65th year. She started a TikTok account, filmed a music video, got a New York Times feature, and even performed the song live for her fellow passengers on a Southwest flight.

Do not feel too bad for Carey, whose “All I Want for Christmas Is You” has been the No. 1 holiday song since 2019. The diva lost out by just a few million streams, and there’s still a lot of season left. If anything, this is a good reminder that while Carey has been the de facto queen of carols for a few years, she can always be unseated. What kooky stunt will she pull next year to get back on top?

There’s a New Queen of Christmas This Year