Twas the Night Before Christmas (You Need A Budget)

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the couch
Not a dime could be found, for which I could vouch.
The cards were all maxed in my wallet (so bare),
Two still had balances from Christmas last year!

The children asleep, thinking everything’s fine
While I sat crunching numbers–occasionally crying.
My wife, resolute, and without any delay
Starts listing last year’s gifts on eBay.

Then out in the front room we hear a loud crash!
I spring from my chair and take off with a dash.
The gifts stacked so high (the tree looked as to drown),
Couldn’t hold longer, and had fallen down.

And then, as if that wasn’t surely enough
The lights in the house go from on to–well–off.
Then back on again. Whew! I just felt a chill!
I thought we’d swapped Princess shoes for a bill!

Then starting to rebuild our tall credit altar
I reach for a toy then suddenly falter.
A book I’d received, but only begrudged it,
I see on the far shelf: “You Need A Budget”.

I cross the room, beckoned by Logic and Reason
Guessing I’ll soon commit credit card treason.
I crack open the book, finding page twenty-eight,
A dead-simple rule to change our Christmas fate.

‘Save for Rainy Days’. It’s Rule Two of the Four.
These non-monthly expenses you can’t ignore!
Take the total expense–now don’t try and hide,
Take that total and then by twelve you’ll divide.

My mind isn’t reeling–this makes really good sense
Christmas, though yearly is a monthly expense!
Now I see visions of a Christmas to come,
Where cash flow is normal with this rule of thumb.

I look to my wife, (whoops, she’s still stooping and stacking)
“Honey! We’ll soon send the credit cards packing!
Imagine: no stress, chasing end-of-year dimes,
We’ll celebrate Christmas this next year–twelve times!”

I reach in my pocket and pull out my wallet,
Bursting with cards that now cause me to vomit,
I feel deep in the pit of my debt-ridden gut
That we’ll dig ourselves out of this Christmas rut.

As I think to the future, and what it will bring
My heart surges with joy and I want to sing.
Joy to the world! I’m not a slave to the man!
Christmas is mine. It’s a 12-month plan!

I log into the bank and check my small balance
(A shortcut I used before each cash advance).
I take some dollars and call them Christmas Next Year,
I’ll be set for Christmas, with nothing to fear.

  • Jesse Mecham

(If you found this rendition of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” entertaining or educational (hopefully both), please pass this along to your friends. Heaven knows at this holiday season, we could all use another forward in our inbox.)