Mariah Carey's 'Merry Christmas to You' special: For fans only

mariah-carey-xmas2.jpgThe live audience for "Mariah Carey: Merry Christmas to You" seemed to be having a jolly old time at the taping. That fun didn't really translate to a TV-viewing experience, though.

Carey looked and sounded just lovely during the ABC special, which taped last month at L.A.'s Orpheum Theatre, but the show felt more like a long ad for her latest holiday album than anything else. (Yes, we're feeling a little bit Scroogey this evening.)

There were, however, two unquestioned highlights: Carey and her mother, former opera singer Patricia Carey, sang a stirring duet of "O Come All Ye Faithful," and Mariah devoted a segment of the show to a special guest from the Make-A-Wish Foundation ( find out more about the foundation). We also liked her take on "Christmastime Is Here" from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (a clip of which is below).

Otherwise, though? Pretty much just an hour of Mariah standing on stage and running through a list of holiday standards and a couple of new songs from "Merry Christmas II You." As we said, she sounded just fine, but we could have gotten pretty much the same effect by popping in a CD.

Here's a clip of "Christmastime Is Here." What did you think of the special?

Photo/Video credit: ABC