Maybe it's the twinkly lights or the gentle snowfall. Or maybe it's just the undeniable air of nostalgia and sentimentality. Either way, one thing's for sure: love is definitely in the air around the holidays — I mean, even the Grinch's heart grew three times larger this time of year. And if you're looking to lean into those vibes, I put together a playlist of the most romantic Christmas songs that'll definitely inspire some magic moments under the mistletoe.
I don't know about you, but for me, music is one of the most powerful ways to summon those festive feels. And whether you prefer pop music, R&B, or old-school jazz, there are Christmas love songs for every kind of taste. Better yet, many of the most popular songs have been re-done again and again, so you can enjoy new versions from some of your favorite contemporary artists — like Camilla Cabello, John Legend, and Ariana Grande.
Whether you're looking for a playlist to put on while you're decorating the tree, wrapping presents, baking cookies, or simply snuggling up by the fire with someone special, there are so many Christmas tunes that will bring out your inner romantic. So, bust out the hot toddies and light the fire — because this soundtrack is guaranteed to give you the warm fuzzies.
"Kissin' In The Cold" — JP Saxe, Julia Michaels
Both our hands inside a glove / Laughing at how gross we love / Drinking whiskey by the fire bundled up ... Time goes by and dreams get left for later / I can't stop the seasons / But there's one thing that I know / We'll still be kissing in the cold.
In this brand new song for Christmas 2020, real-life music power couple Julia Michaels and JP Saxe croon about having the kind of love you can rely on when everything else around you is changing. The harmonies alone are bound to give you goosebumps.
"Let It Snow" — Tori Kelly, Babyface
When we finally kiss goodnight / How I'll hate going out in the storm / But if you really hold me tight / All the way home I'll be warm.
When you're looking for an upbeat, feel-good jam, look no further than this delightful duet, which was released just in time for the 2020 holiday season.
"I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm" — Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong
Off with my overcoat, off with my gloves / Who needs an overcoat I'm burning with love / My heart's on fire and the flame grows higher / So I will weather the storm ... I've got my love to keep me warm.
This Christmas standard has been covered countless times over the years, but personally, I never tire of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong's iconic jazz version.
"Glittery" — Kacey Musgraves
You light me up like starlight on a Christmas tree / Every single kiss is like a gift to me / And I love the way you decorate my heart ... The winter is so gray, feels like the ice is here to stay / But when you look at me, you know you melt it all away...
Kacey Musgraves has countless Christmas hits — but this one stands out due to the swoon-worthy lyrics. IMO, it's a perfect song for slow dancing in front of the tree.
"The Christmas Song" — Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello
Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe / Help to make the season bright / Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow / Will find it hard to sleep tonight.
If you're a fan of the classics, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello's rendition of this timeless tune is guaranteed to get you in a festive mood. Did I mention that the music video features adorable quarantine footage of them snuggling up by a fire, playing with their new pup Tarzan, and recording at home? And, in the spirit of giving, the song is raising funds for Feeding America through The Shawn Mendes Foundation.
"Christmas Valentine" — Ingrid Michaelson, Jason Mraz
We made a reservation / But we'll never make it there / The fire's too inviting / There's nowhere I'd rather be ... Baby just be mine / A kinda sorta Christmas Valentine / You're making every day with you and I / Feel like a very merry February.
Just try to listen to this quirky Christmas song without smiling — I dare you.
"All I Want For Christmas Is You" — Mariah Carey
I don't care about the presents / Underneath the Christmas tree. I just want you for my own / More than you could ever know / Make my wish come true / All I want for Christmas is you.
I mean, is it even Christmas without this song? While you're wrapping presents for your boo, go ahead and belt out those high notes.
"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" — Michael Bublé
The snow's coming down / I'm watching it fall / Lots of people around / Baby please come home...
Whether you're in a long-distance relationship or you simply won't be able to spend Christmas with your SO this year, this soulful classic should hit close to home.
"Winter Wonderland" — Bing Crosby
Later on, we'll conspire / As we dream by the fire / To face unafraid, the plans that we've made / Walking in a winter wonderland.
This song will make you want to take a romantic winter stroll with your one and only — and maybe even build a snowman together.
"Baby, It's Cold Outside" — John Legend, Kelly Clarkson
I simply should go (text me when you get home) / Oh, I'm supposed to say no (mm, I guess that's respectable) / This welcome has been (I feel lucky that you dropped in) / So nice and warm (but you better go before it storms).
"Baby, Its Cold Outside" has gotten a lot of flack in recent years for its controversial (and potentially creepy) lyrics — fortunately, John Legend and Kelly Clarkson's recorded a refreshing remake that feels *way* more fitting for 2020. Case in point: When Clarkson sings, "What will my friends think / If I have one more drink?" Legend's response is, "I think they should rejoice / It's your body and your choice." (Insert applause emoji.)
"Mistletoe" — Justin Bieber
The wise men followed the star / The way I followed my heart / And it led me to a miracle... Don't you buy me nothing / 'Cause I am feeling one thing / Your lips on my lips / That's a merry, merry Christmas.
Between the reggae-inspired beat, Justin Bieber's smooth AF vocals, and the ultra-catchy melody, this one's bound to get stuck in your head.
"8 Days of Christmas" — Destiny's Child
On the 8th day of Christmas my baby gave to me / A pair of Chloé shades and a diamond belly ring / On the 7th day of Christmas my baby gave to me / A nice back rub then he massaged my feet / On the 6th day of Christmas my baby gave to me / A crop jacket with dirty denim jeans.
If you missed this R&B gem from Bey's era with Destiny's Child, run — don't walk — to hit "play." You're welcome.
"Wit It This Christmas" — Ariana Grande
Are you down for some of these milk and cookies? ... you'll be my drummer boy / And I'm the only drum that you gonna play, hmm...
When you want to turn up the heat a tad, this one is peppered with sexy AF lyrics like, "We don't need the kitchen, we don't need them recipes / You know I'm tasty like a candy cane." If that doesn't get you in the mood for some hot holiday lovin', I don't know what will.