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Mariah Carey's Ultimate Christmas Guide: What She Thinks of Matching PJs, White Elephant Parties and More (Exclusive)

The Queen of Christmas opened up to PEOPLE about what holiday traditions she considers a "slay" and which ones are a "nay"

<p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/ninomunoz/">Nino Munoz</a></p> Mariah Carey for PEOPLE

Nino Munoz

Mariah Carey for PEOPLE

The Queen of Christmas is opening up about how she makes her holiday season merry and bright.

Mariah Carey spoke to PEOPLE about what festive traditions she celebrates year after year and considers a “slay,” and which ones end up on her naughty list, or get a “nay.”

The pop superstar, who appears on the latest PEOPLE digital cover story, explains that — after her annual defrosting — she starts getting in the spirit on Nov. 1, which is when she considers it appropriate to play holiday music.

<p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/ninomunoz/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">Nino Munoz</a></p> Mariah Carey for PEOPLE

Nino Munoz

Mariah Carey for PEOPLE

Related: How Mariah Carey Is Winning Christmas Again: Prayer, Baths, Writing New Music and 'Not Reading Anything About Me' (Exclusive)

Throughout the season, the “All I Want For Christmas Is You” singer, 54, said she considers caroling a “slay,” and embraces the yuletide by sipping on classic beverages like eggnog.

Although, the creamy drink isn’t exactly her No. 1 choice. “I have my Black Irish that I like much better than that,” the hitmaker says, referring to her brand of Irish cream liqueur that’s inspired by her Black and Irish heritage. “Occasionally, I'm going to take a sip of eggnog. I mean, because it's eggnog. It's Christmas.”

The Grammy winner herself may not ‘tis the season by watching Hallmark holiday movies, but she knows that “people love them,” so she considers the holiday specials somewhat of a slay. “We don't want to take away things that people love,” she adds.

As for how the singer-songwriter likes to deck the halls, she has quite a few opinions. The “Touch My Body” singer admits that she’s “not really a fan of artificial trees,” but recognizes that “it's all the way you decorate it and the love you put into the room.”

<p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/ninomunoz/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">Nino Munoz</a></p> Mariah Carey for PEOPLE

Nino Munoz

Mariah Carey for PEOPLE

Related: Mariah Carey's Recipe for the Perfect Bath: 'You Must Be Aware of This, Darling' (Exclusive)

“I like popcorn garland,” Carey shared, of how she likes to see an evergreen decked out. “Slay — especially with cranberries and popcorn.”

Even the bottom of the tree comes into her consideration. “[Tree skirts] can be cute,” suggests the R&B legend. “It's all about the way they're zhuzhed. You got to zhuzh them properly.”

There is one ornament that fans will never see gracing her Christmas centerpiece: “Tinsel, nay,” she says.

“I am not really a tinsel fan,” the pop icon reveals. “But I don't want to take that away from other people because it's fun. You could throw it at people. It's fun for a moment.”

The singer-songwriter also thinks that any inflatable yard decor should be kept to a minimum. “If they have, like, a cute lamb or something like that, it's more for the pool. I would go with that,” she offered as an alternative.

<p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/ninomunoz/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">Nino Munoz</a></p> Mariah Carey for PEOPLE

Nino Munoz

Mariah Carey for PEOPLE

Related: How Mariah Carey Stays 'Unbothered': 'I Try to Be Bothered When I'm by Myself, Not in Front of the World' (Exclusive) 

As Dec. 25 approaches, Carey is all for getting cozy by wearing matching pajamas. “I do that. I love that. I think it’s cute,” says the recording artist — who sported them along with her 12-year-old twins, Moroccan and Monroe, in ​​this year’s holiday campaign from The Children's Place.

When it comes to presents, Carey also has thoughts: Gift cards are a nay (“I don’t think people like that anymore”) and lingerie can definitely be a slay (“If people want it”). (She would know, as this year she starred in Victoria’s Secret’s annual Christmas campaign.)

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She would also rather Santa Claus deliver gifts down the chimney than participate in a holiday party exchange. Of Secret Santa, she says, “It’s just like, why?”

And Rudolph’s red nose hasn’t even put the gag-gift tradition white elephant on her radar. “I don't know of said white elephant gift party,” she admits.

Opening “one gift on Christmas Eve,” though, she calls, “So slay.”

<p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/ninomunoz/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">Nino Munoz</a></p> Mariah Carey for PEOPLE

Nino Munoz

Mariah Carey for PEOPLE

Related: Mariah Carey Has Never Heard of White Elephant Gift Parties: 'Can You Tell Me About It?' (Exclusive)

Before the “We Belong Together” artist gets festive at home, she’s busy rocking around the Christmas tree out on the road this year on her Merry Christmas One and All! tour. The live show, which sees the pop icon performing holiday classics and her own hits in a winter wonderland, kicked off on Nov. 15 in Highland, California and runs until Dec. 17 in New York City.

In her PEOPLE digital cover story about her status as the Queen of Christmas, Carey revealed that this Christmas time feels extra special.

“I've been looking forward to this Christmas for, like, the whole year,” she admitted.

For more from Mariah Carey, check out PEOPLE's latest digital issue here.

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Read the original article on People.