“If We Make It Through December” by the great Merle Haggard was first released during the recession of 1973, and since then has become a holiday classic. It injects a note of economic realism amidst the other Christmas songs with their invocations of Santa, visions of sugar plum fairies, etc. What better way to kick off the month of December?

Kathleen Geier

Kathleen Geier is a writer and public policy researcher who lives in Chicago. She blogs at Inequality Matters. Find her on Twitter: @Kathy_Gee