A low-budget, joyful Christmas season Is possible. But it has to begin with financial honesty. Over-promising gifts to your children and having a "Treat Yo'self" mentality with your holiday shopping is a recipe for disappointment on everyone's end. Don't do that to yourself. Instead, follow these tips for a frugal, stress-free holiday season:

1. Strategically tier your presents

Give cards to acquaintances and neighbors. Bake one type of treat to surprise teachers, co-workers, friends, and extended family. Save actual presents for those who matter most: your immediate family and loved ones.

Implementing this system now will save you thousands in the long-run.

2. Re-think your Christmas card game

It's 2017. If people want your picture, they'll stalk you on Facebook. Boujee holiday cards from Shutterfly are nice, but at $100, they're way extra. A bulk pack of blank holiday cards will suit your needs just fine and are more thoughtful than mass prints, anyway. Also, forget the fancy customized return address stickers. Let your child or partner write out your return address on envelopes.

3. Ain't nothin' wrong with re-gifting

So long as you know the giftee will make good use of the packaged, not-used item, that is. If you haven't already, make a space in your closet for gifts that you want to re-gift to others.

When it comes time for Christmas, pull them out, parse them out, and enjoy the savings.

4. Gift wrap: the gift that keeps on giving

Next to your re-gifting closet space, make sure you have a large gift bag filled with smaller used gift bags, tissue paper, and ribbons and such. This is an eco-friendly way to save some bucks and avoid a last-minute Target run for overpriced gift wrap.

5. Potluck: the hipster-chic cocktail party alternative

Whether you're hosting or being hosted, a potluck is a personal way to celebrate with your people without breaking the bank. The key to a good potluck? A signature cocktail, along with having no qualms about telling others what to bring.

Believe me, they'll be relieved not to have to go to a loud bar or dress up all in the name of keeping up with the 'Joneses.'

6. Fight back against excessive consumerism

Need not, waste not. Do you really need that Cards Against Humanity extension pack from Aunt Janet, or are you just too uncomfortable to let her know that her presence is your present? If you're like most Americans, you already have too much stuff. When asked for gift Ideas for yourself, consider a charitable donation. If you must, keep them small, practical, and experiential, not tangible. These days, separating politics from commerce is becoming increasingly difficult. Remember that you're the one in control of your dollars, so spend wisely.

7. Pare down your other living expenses

Giving your family the best Christmas you can afford starts by cutting down your discretionary spending, period. Eat your pantry. Turn the heat down and the lights off every time you leave the house. Make your own all-purpose cleaners and stop it with the paper towels, already. Cash out your change jar. Craigslist the old phone that's been sitting in your desk. Challenge yourself to spend nothing at all on non-essentials, and Mr. Clause will treat you handsomely.

Budget for Christmas, budget for life

Don't let the end of the season be the end of your fiscal responsibility. It's important to remain mindful of your spending so you can enjoy a merry Christmas on the cheap your ho, ho, whole financial future!