Christmas may be just around the corner, but it’s fair to say the festive season doesn’t really begin until Mariah Carey makes an appearance.

This year, however, the All I Want for ChristmasIs You singer has entered into our festive world in a slightly different way, teaming up with McDonald’s to create the Mariah Menu, which allows US customers to pick a free item every day in the run-up to Christmas Eve when using the fast food chain’s app.

All this is explained in an advert on the McDonald’s YouTube channel, with the 42-second clip giving viewers all the festive feels with snow, decorative lights and a traditional red-colour backdrop (as well as Carey’s Christmas hit playing in the background).

But, while the video perfectly captures the Christmas spirit, it was the fast-food giant’s tweet announcing the collaboration that left people slightly baffled.

In a post to their 4.3m followers, McDonald’s tweeted a bizarre image of Carey posing in a red dress in front of an ocean, with a giant McDonald’s sign looming over her in the background.

The tweet read: “Mariah’s back for the holiday season and this time, she’s bringing a whole menu with her.”

Since posting the photo, the tweet has garnered nearly 30,000 likes, as well as thousands of quote tweets from people expressing their confusion at why exactly she is standing in the middle of the ocean for a Christmas promo – and why the McDonald’s ‘M’ sign looks so menacing.

Many ripped into the photo, saying that it looks like something they would’ve designed as teenagers, while others were just simply confused as to what they were seeing.

Needless to say, the memes rolled in...

Other people couldn’t quite grasp why the ocean view was necessary, or what it had to do with Christmas:

While some jokingly interpreted the photo as a nod to the impacts of climate change, warning about the rising sea levels.

But a few on-the-pulse people guessed that the inspiration behind what seemed like a completely random photo was in fact from a meme which nods to Carey’s lasting impact on Christmas.

The meme itself features a similar photo of Mariah posing in the sea, with the caption: “And now it’s that sad time of the year when Mariah Carey must return to the ocean, only to re-emerge next Christmas.”

So a clever ploy by McDonald’s all along?

Either way, the chain’s social media team must be having a field day with all of this reaction.

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