As The Ramones once sang, “Merry Christmas, I don’t want to fight tonight.” If they couldn’t take their own advice, what hope is there for the rest of us?
This holiday season, the queens of Christmas are turning the Yuletide into a litigious Westeros by going after the Cersei of Christmas: Mariah Carey. Several months back, Mariah Carey, the performer of one of the most popular Christmas jingles of the modern era, “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” attempted to name herself the “Queen Of Christmas” by trademarking the term. As we all know, that’s how monarchies work, through trademark disputes.
Anyway, and maybe Ms. Carey didn’t know this, she’s not the only Christmas song singer that identifies as female. Darlene Love, who David Letterman proclaimed the Queen of Christmas 29 years ago, is one. Another is Elizabeth Chan, a Christmas music maker and the owner of a trove of emails filled to the brim with people calling her the queen. However, Mariah Carey makes $1.55 million a year from her famous song, so maybe she should just be the queen.
Well, that’s not going to fly for Chan, the queen that successfully blocked Carey’s trademark, and she did it for Christmas, you ungrateful cotton-headed ninny muggins. “When I found out that Mariah Carey had filed for the trademark, what that meant was that all the time that I had spent, all of the accolades from others, would’ve been erased,” Chan told Slate. “A lot of people think it was a me vs. Mariah thing, but it wasn’t. It’s not about that at all. It was a Mariah vs. everybody thing. Because what she was actually taking away was even your right to call me the Queen of Christmas or your right to call anybody else the Queen of Christmas.”
The fact of the matter is that Chan is out here 365 days spreading Christmas cheer, whether it’s December or fucking July, and she’ll be God damned if some Janie comes lately is going to take that away from her. Everyone in her life knows that Chan is the queen. Anytime she walks in a room, “radio executives would be like, ‘Oh, this is Elizabeth. She’s the Queen of Christmas! She only does Christmas music.’” Chan has “emails from my entire career [of] people introducing me as the Queen of Christmas, because even if it’s March, even if it’s April, I’m still doing Christmas music.” That’s legally binding. The singer “literally has given up everything” for Christmas, which sounds more depressing than it probably is. This is her livelihood. She continues:
Anyone that works with me knows that I am someone that is so committed to the genre of music that I’m in. As a Christmas musician, there’s very few places that I can … I mean, I’m not going to be on, like, any American Music Awards. I’m never going to have the same kind of accolades that other artists might have.
In a way, Chan saved Christmas, doing what people have failed to do to Disney for the last 100 years: Block a trademark and keep the Queen of Christmas title available to all. “When someone wanted to trademark it, take it out of the public domain and turn it into private property, my feeling was that I can’t let it happen,” she told The New York Post.
Ultimately, Chan’s mission was a success, and she blocked the overthrow of the Christmas monarchy. “I was relieved and felt that justice had been served,” Chan said. “I got more support than backlash and was happy to give Christmas back to everybody.”
Thank you for your service, Queen Chan. We raise a glass of nog in your honor.