When reflecting on Christmases past, a poignant memory comes to Miranda Lambert‘s mind.

Growing up in Lindale, Texas, Miranda’s parents were private investigators, but her father, Rick Lambert, also dabbled in music. She remembers a particularly challenging time for her family around the holiday season, with her family finding joy in a somber holiday song by Merle Haggard, ”If We Make It Through December,” that her dad would sing each year.

“I think my favorite Christmas song of all time is ‘If We Make it Through December’ because growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money a lot of the years at the holiday season and my dad, I could just see the look on his face when he would sing that song on his guitar, sitting on the porch every Christmas, trying to make it special for his family,” Miranda recalls. “But sometimes it’s a real struggle.” 

The country superstar is now honoring that memory on the Pistol Annies‘ Christmas album, Hell of a Holiday, which features a cover of the plaintive number. 

Knowing the challenges her family faced, Miranda views the song as a symbol of hope for those who struggle during the holidays. 

“When I hear that song, it brings back those emotions of there’s families out there who really don’t have a way to do the whole Santa, Christmas morning,” she describes. “So that song just really speaks to that.” 

Hell of a Holiday is available now. 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.