See Darlene Love's Beloved 'Letterman' Tradition

Christmastime simply isn't Christmastime without Darlene Love singing her holiday classic "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" on The Late Show with David Letterman, a tradition that's been running for nearly 30 years. Sadly, this Friday, Dec. 19 will mark the last time the singer will perform the Christmas staple, as David Letterman will be stepping down as The Late Show host in early 2015. It's something that, quite frankly, I'm not ready to part with.

Sure, radio stations will always play Love's "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" this time of year, but there's something magical about her Letterman appearances. You can tell it meant just as much to Love as it did to Letterman, but truth be told, it meant the most to fans who tuned in yearly.

I've been watching Love's Christmastime appearances for most of my life (the Semigran household was a strictly Letterman household) and maybe it's the sentimentality that hangs heavy over the holiday season, but I actually can't imagine not tuning in to see this tradition. Thankfully, Love told Rolling Stone that she and Late Show bandleader Paul Shaffer have talked about the possibility of doing a Christmas show in New York.

For anyone who's seen the Oscar-winning documentary Twenty Feet From Stardom , you know that the tremendously talented Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee hasn't had the easiest road in her landmark career. But while the music industry may have turned its back on Love at times, Letterman invited her to sing every year since 1986 (with the exception of 2007 due to the writer's strike).

In honor of Love and Letterman's decades-long tradition, here's a compilation of her best "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" performances. If this gets you a little choked up, just wait until tonight.

The Late Show with David Letterman airs at 11:35 p.m. EST on CBS.