The holidays are a joyous time for all — especially for the Queen of Christmas, a.k.a. Mariah Carey! Naturally, the 49-year-old has a list of activities she likes to do on that special day.

“My first essential is time off for Christmas to be with friends and loved ones,” she recently told GQ. “I’m not working. I’m not on camera. I don’t have to think about anything other than just existing and giving love and receiving love and enjoying the holiday spirit.”

The “We Belong Together” crooner has two 8-year-olds — Moroccan and Monroe, whom she shares with ex Nick Cannon. That means this time of year is all about them having a blast. To achieve that, Mariah makes sure the holiday is picture-perfect. “I like to be in a snowy environment,” she said. Past traditions include traveling to Aspen to go on sleigh rides, looking at the night sky and getting visits from Santa Claus and his reindeer.

Mariah Carey and santa on Stage

The singer also likes to spoil her family with food. “I like to cook every year,” she said. “I cook on the 23rd, 24th and 25th — all different menus. One of the three meals is extra special for the blonde beauty. “Before [my father] passed away, he left me this recipe that I like to make every year on Christmas Eve,” she revealed.

Mariah isn’t the only relative in her fam who enjoys being in the kitchen; her daughter, Roe, does too. “I used to bake a lot and one of my favorite things to bake was German chocolate cake, and I wish I could find it again,” she began explaining. “I want to do that with my daughter ’cause she loves baking and cooking.” What’s her secret ingredient? “You gotta cook with love,” the pop star divulged. “If you don’t cook with love, it’s not gonna taste good.”

Mariah has the biggest holiday hit ever — “All I Want for Christmas Is You” — so, of course, she’s all about that kind of music. “If somebody turns off the Christmas music, I get really upset,” she confessed.  “Like if I wake up when there’s no Christmas music in the house, I freak out.” Spoken like a true Christmas queen!