The Greatest Christmas Love Songs Ever Recorded

This soundtrack + mistletoe = everything you need this festive season.

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(Image credit: Morgan McCullen)

There's something about the holiday season that just oozes lovey-dovey feelings into the air. Whether it's the overflowing amount of romantic Christmas movies coming from the Hallmark channel, or the couples' holiday photos dominating your Instagram feed, one always ends up feeling particularly romantic during the holidays.

Holiday music in particular can get us in the feels, and for that reason, I've compiled a list of the best romantic Christmas songs, from Wham! all the way to Kacey Musgraves. I've even made a nifty Spotify playlist so you can play them all at once! (Romantic partner not included.)

"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" —Judy Garland

Written for Judy Garland's 1944 movie Meet Me in St. Louis, the song was initially so sad Garland refused to sing it. Thankfully, the lyrics were tweaked, and we've come to love and adore the (still) sad but hopeful song about wishing someone you love to have a Merry Christmas.

"Present Without A Bow" —Kacey Musgraves ft. Leon Bridges

To have Kacey Musgraves and Leon Bridges under my Christmas tree would be nothing short of the perfect present, but until that happens, this song will fit the bill.

"Last Christmas" —Wham!

We have George Michael in his prime! We have '80s synthesizers and ski wear! It's what St. Nick would've wanted in an '80s pop Christmas song, I'm sure of it.

"This Christmas" —Donny Hathaway

Listening to the lyrics of "This Christmas" will make your heart four times bigger. "And as I look around/ Your eyes outshine the town, they do/ This Christmas."

"All I Want for Christmas Is You" —Mariah Carey

Would it be dramatic to say this song invented Christmas music? Probably, but the holiday season is not complete without Ms. Mariah Carey and her high notes.

"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" —Darlene Love

There's a reason why David Letterman brought Darlene Love onto his show to sing it every Christmas for three decades. It's just that good.

"Mistletoe" —Justin Bieber

I'll admit it—I wanted to be the girl being courted by Justin Bieber when I first saw this music video in 2011. There are many hits off of his Under the Mistletoe album, none shine brighter than 'Mistletoe.'

"One More Sleep" —Leona Lewis

"One More Sleep" counts down to when Leona Lewis' special someone will return home for Christmas. "Cause I've got five more nights of sleeping on my own/ Four more days until you're coming home/ Three more dreams of you and mistletoe/ Two more reasons why I love you so."

"I'll Be Home For Christmas (If Only In My Dreams)" —Frank Sinatra

The song is about a World War II solider believing he'll come home for Christmas. What I love about Frank Sinatra's version of the Bing Crosby original is how tender it sounds as he sings, "Christmas Eve will find me/ Where the love light gleams/ I'll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams."

"Do They Know It's Christmas" —Band Aid

While this isn't the most traditional "in love during Christmas" song, the idea of spreading love beyond the people closest to you is always festive.

"I Want To Come Home For Christmas" —Marvin Gaye

Recorded from the perspective of a solider serving in Vietnam in 1972, "I Want To Come Home For Christmas" wasn't actually released until 18 years later in 1990. Since then the song has been deemed a classic reminder of Marvin Gaye's unforgettable voice.

"Merry Christmas, Darling" —The Carpenters

If I don't hear Karen Carpenter's voice during the holiday season, I've failed to celebrate accordingly. While there are many covers of this song, no one sings it better than Carpenter circa 1970.

"Blue Christmas" —Elvis Presley

"Blue Christmas" is a tale of unrequited love during the holiday season. Known as one of the most popular Christmas songs, Elvis Presley didn't want to record it at first at a scheduled studio session in 1957, but we're so glad he did.

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" —John Legend ft. Kelly Clarkson

As you probably know, the lyrics from the original version of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" are a little bit creepy. Thankfully, John Legend and Kelly Clarkson revamped the song with lyrics you can totally get behind.

"I Never Knew The Meaning Of Christmas" —*NSYNC

It would be a crime to not include one of the many hits from *NSYNC's holiday album. You're probably familiar with "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays," but "I Never Knew The Meaning Of Christmas" is a song about how not knowing the meaning of Christmas until you found the special someone.

"I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm" —Dean Martin

A bad winter storm is no problem in "I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm." "So I will weather the storm/ What do I care how much it may storm/ I've got my love to keep me warm."

"My Only Wish (This Year)" —Britney Spears

Most Britney fans already know she has one of the most underrated Christmas songs. If you're new to the group, welcome! In the song, she sings, "Can't be alone under the mistletoe/ He's all want and a big red bow/ Santa, can you hear me?"

"The Greatest Gift of All" —Dolly Parton, Kenny Rodgers

Sometimes the greatest gift is something you can't buy, but only feel. Dolly Parton and Kenny Rodgers say that here: "And knowing you're in love with me is the greatest gift of all."

"Santa Tell Me" —Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande wants one person and one person only this Christmas, and we can't blame her. "Santa, tell me if you're really there/ Don't make me fall in love again if he won't be here next year/ Santa, tell me if he really cares cause I can't give it all away if he won't be here next year."

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Bianca Rodriguez is the Fashion & Luxury Commerce Manager at Hearst Magazines, covering fashion, beauty, and more for Cosmopolitan, Elle, Esquire, Harper’s BAZAAR, and Town & Country. In addition to spearheading commerce content across brands—from writing about wardrobe must-haves and sales at major retailers to strategizing—she is also an avid reader with a deep love and knowledge for books of all genres. More often than not, you can find her lounging with a good book on the weekend.