When Mariah Carey first recorded “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” she had no idea it was going to become a Christmas anthem enjoyed by all — including her own son — for the next two decades, let alone that it would be turned into a children’s book and, now, an animated film. Since the song’s 1994 release, no other Christmas album has been able to end Carey’s seasonal reign. “I was just in the moment, writing it and trying to get into the Christmas spirit,” the singer recalled during a Los Angeles press junket for the movie inspired by the song.

Recognizing her luck with the hit, Carey demurely said, “You know, I’m not a philosopher, I’m just someone that loves Christmas, and now we have a Christmas movie to go with my first Christmas song.”

Carey narrates the feature, which tells the story of Little Mariah (Breanna Yde) doing everything she can to prove to her parents that she can handle her biggest Christmas wish: a puppy.

In line with the family-friendly movie, the mother of twins Moroccan and Monroe, six, puts family at the top of her Christmas list. “I love my family first. I love my kids first and they’re amazing,” Carey told Brit + Co.

Not surprisingly, she and her brood have a few special traditions around this time of year. “Well, of course there’s Santa Claus! Santa Claus comes every year, even some reindeer,” Carey shared with us. “Even before the twins were born, I would do this for my friends and their families and their kids so that they would grow up with these traditions and things I like to do around the holidays. I think it’s because when I was growing up, I wanted to have this picture-perfect Christmas. Really it’s the spirit that matters the most, so that’s what I’m looking forward to doing. To me, that’s much bigger than anything.”

Add a couple of classic Christmas movies (like It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street), cue up a holiday playlist, and you have Carey’s recipe for a merry holiday season. “Probably my mom is the one that started getting me into watching the Christmas movies and having that as like a tradition and something we do every year,” Carey remembered.

The singer said she likes to wait until after Thanksgiving to get into the holiday spirit, but she really dives into the celebrations throughout the week of Christmas, which, she explained, “is kind of a big production for me because I want everybody else to experience a good time.”

This year, though, the “All I Want for Christmas Is You” singer, author, and narrator got her twins — whom she shares with ex-husband Nick Cannon — into the Christmas spirit a little bit early, by letting them sing background vocals on her title track for the upcoming animated film The Star. And it seems as though Roc and Roe have inherited their mother’s love of the season, as well as her musicality. “They like it. If they want to sing and be on, I’ll ask them and they really enjoy it, and if they didn’t want to do it, I would say, ‘Don’t,’ you know, or, ‘That’s fine with me.’ It’s up to them to decide who they want to be as people in life.”

All I Want for Christmas Is You is available on Blu-Ray, DVD, Digital, and On Demand starting today.

What’s your favorite Christmas song? Tell us @BritandCo.

(Photos via Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)