Merle Haggard's 1974 track, If We Make It Through December (from the album with the same name), tells an all too familiar tale of a man who's been laid off from his job just before Christmas. He's obviously have a rough go of it, he wants to do Christmas right by his daughter but now he's just hoping she'll understand if it doesn't happen the way it should. Timeless, this song could easily have been written today. The backup vocals, the violin (fiddle?) and the piano flourishes really make the song for me. No doubt that Haggard could have played it as a "fuck you" to The Man, with the narrator going on a drunken and destructive binge; he takes the high road instead, it's poignant, elegant and understated, with a dash of optimism.
Merle Haggard - If We Make It Through December