Ruven Afanador for BillboardIn recent years, Mariah Carey‘s Christmas empire has grown to include books, movies, and a live Christmas spectacular which, according to Billboard, has grossed $16.5 million since it started in 2014. Ironically, that means the Queen of Christmas has had less and less to time to celebrate her favorite holiday.

Asked by Billboard for the publication’s new cover story, “When do the holidays start for you?” she laments, “As soon as I stop working. This year, I think they start on the 22nd, which is a day and a half too late, if you ask me.”

“[I like] at least a week of Christmas music and Christmas movies and activities only,” she adds.When we’re relaxing, no one’s allowed to listen to anything but Christmas music until January 1.”

Explaining her over-the-top love for the holiday, Mariah says it goes back to her childhood, when her dysfunctional family kept her from enjoying Christmas.

“As an adult, what I’ve tried to do is take what I always wished Christmas would be and have the perfect holiday season…It’s literally exorcising the demons that I had to battle as a child and coming out still feeling festive,” she explains.

Mariah continues, “I know most people are like, ‘Ugh, it’s Christmas. I have to get everybody gifts and deal with my family.’ It’s not that I don’t have those issues. I do. But I put it all aside for just one peaceful moment alone by the tree listening to music.”

“I know what makes me feel festive,” she adds. “And the first time I sing ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ each year is the best part of the year for me.”

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