Justice For The Mariah Carey Holiday Classic Not Named 'All I Want For Christmas Is You'

NY Times best-selling author Michael Arceneaux explains why Carey's 'Miss You Most (At Christmas Time)' deserves its place beside holiday classics.

“It’s kind of my first Christmas love song” is how Mariah Carey described “Miss You Most (At Christmas Time) during her CBS holiday special, “Merry Christmas To All,” last year. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was included in her set. She doesn’t perform it often. Fans have been pleading with her for years to perform it more. 

As she noted, the second single from her holiday album, Merry Christmas, won a poll of most requested songs for Mariah to sing. 

Other artists have done so in her place over the years. 

When JoJo covered it, Mariah commented on her Instagram: "Thank you for this beautiful homage! I'm so happy you chose this song that not many people know. It's one of my favorite Christmas songs that I've written. Love!!! MC.”

JoJo has taste

Understandably, outside of her lambily fan base, the song is eclipsed by "All I Want For Christmas Is You.” I have written about my love of “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” and Mariah herself has read it, so we love the song. It is not easy to write a song that becomes so tied to Christmas that only Jesus and Santa outweigh your association with the holiday in this century.

And it continues to sound so good year after year. 

It is remarkable to pen a modern holiday classic, but as amazing as that song is, I want a little justice for its follow-up single. I would argue that “Miss You Most,” originally sent to R&B stations in November 1994, is as strong a holiday record as “All I Want Is Christmas For You.”

Apparently, not enough of them played it then to store this song in the public’s memory because we only hear one Mariah holiday bop a year. 

Let’s work on atonement for this. 

So, we should come together as a people and beg or bully, whichever gets results, to make sure this song is played and performed more often than it is.

I am happy to hear “All I Want For Christmas Is You” in department and drug stores for the rest of my life.  I will be playing it at home and in the car to contribute to the cause of getting Mariah another week at number one on the Hot 100. 

But "Miss You Most" is in Mariah’s holiday top two — and it’s not second place over here. 

In an interview in 1994, Mariah said that the song:  “Miss You Most’ is a very kind of a sad, reflective Christmas song 'cause not everybody is happy during the holidays. A lot of people get very mellow thinking about people who have passed or aren't with them anymore. That was kind of my point of view on that song.” 

I enjoy all types of holiday music, from traditional Christmas tunes to the Khia tracks (I don’t endorse her views at all), but I love a bah humbug ballad, too. 

As joyous as Christmas is designed to be, as Mariah explained then, there are a lot of people who feel lonely during the holidays as they mourn some type of loss. For the happy people, give yourself another option for a Christmas song by Mariah Carey besides the obvious option.

I loved the song and was too young to understand it when I first heard it. You can appreciate it, too. Just sway to it. But in particular, for the folks having a harder time than they should this time of year, it's a good addition to the soundtrack for a less-than-ideal Christmas.

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