Here’s the reason Dolly doesn’t take on Mariah for the title of “Queen of Christmas”
Ahead of her new NBC Christmas special, Dolly Patron insisted she’s not trying to take over Mariah Carey’s unofficial “Queen of Christmas” title, saying she’s happy to be “second in line.”
Don’t call Dolly Parton the “Queen of Christmas.”
While the “Hard Candy Christmas” singer has been known to go all out during the holiday season, she insists the true title belongs to the one-and-only Mariah Carey.
“I’m not going to compete with Mariah. I love her,” she told Better Homes & Gardens in the December issue, out Nov. 11. “You think of Christmas, you think of Mariah. I’m happy to be second in line to her.”
Mariah, of course, released her hit “All I Want for Christmas Is You” in 1994, which has become a Christmas standard and continues to surge in popularity each holiday season. While Dolly doesn’t want to take away from the Glitter star’s reign, she admits she’s at her personal and professional best during the festive season too.
“The holidays make me very creative, ’cause I’m happy,” Dolly, who appears on the cover of BHG’s first-ever digital issue and print edition, said. “And I try to remember, and I draw from that, from that spirit of Christmas—the spirit is really about giving and tolerance, understanding and acceptance.
“This December, NBC will air Dolly Parton’s Mountain Magic Christmas, a two-hour holiday special film featuring the “9 to 5” singer and musical guests Jimmy Fallon, Willie Nelson, Billy Ray Cyrus, Jimmie Allen, Zach Williams and Miley Cyrus.Offstage, the 78-year-old continues the holiday cheer with her family, including making her annual appearance as “Granny Claus,” complete with her a basement elevator door in her home decorated like a chimney.
“It’s got the flames and everything,” she said. “I get in my Santa suit, and I got my Santa bags with their presents in it. And I come down the ‘chimney.'”
Dolly—who has been married to Carl Thomas Dean since 1966—is also famous for her signature holiday dishes, especially chicken and dumplings, which she said her family “loves.”
“Everyone always wants my recipe,” she said. “But I’m not even gonna leave it behind when I’m gone. I want them to always say, ‘This doesn’t taste the same. I miss Dolly’s.'”Even before becoming a country music legend, Dolly looked forward to the holidays as a child, saying, “Momma always made Christmas great” even when money was tight.
“I always say Momma could tell you anything and make you believe it, ” she recalled. “She had to make Christmas good for all of us. She didn’t have any money to do it any other way. You know, we really didn’t know we were poor. I always make a joke, ‘We didn’t know we was poor ’til some smart-ass up and told us.'”
Dolly explained that growing in the Smokey Mountains as one of 12 kids, her family didn’t even have electricity for lights on the tree, so they used popcorn garlands for decoration—a tradition she continues even now.
“That’s one of the things I have to have today,” she said. “I never got over being country.”
Watch Dolly Parton’s Mountain Magic Christmas Thursday, Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)