BOSTON (CBS) – How to save on Christmas gifts you ask? Start by giving to fewer recipients. Trim your list down to a reasonable number. If you have a large family and you usually buy a gift for everyone in the family, that can get very expensive. And it creates mayhem on the holidays.

READ MORE: Brookline teachers' strike ends, schools to be open Tuesday

Imagine Christmas day, your family arrives with their kids so there are eight kids including yours and 20 adults and you are trying to prepare a dinner. The kids whip through their boxes and are looking to open the adults’ boxes.

Your youngest sister is neatly making a pile for everyone to return the stuff they got for her. She claims, at 160 pounds, she is still a size small. People are annoyed and soon others begin to make their piles as well. Chaos ensues and then the roast is overcooked.

How about forgetting the adults and just the little kids get gifts, those under 10 who are still fun to shop for. For the rest, do a Yankee swap after dinner.

Consider putting everyone’s name in a hat and each family member draws a name. Can do this with kids only as well. The bonus, less shopping and you can afford nicer gifts. And as a family put a limit on the dollar amount spent on each gift. Make it reasonable for not everyone has the same earning capacity in the family.

Consider buying a family gift rather than individual gifts for your sister’s kids. A gift that keeps on giving, one that can create memories.

READ MORE: Massachusetts gas prices rise to new record high of $4.65 a gallon

How about a family game that most members of the family can play. Sequence is good for most 7-year-olds can master the strategy.

How about a membership to the Museum of Science so the kids can learn about butterflies and bees? They are featuring a working beehive and a very peaceful butterfly garden exhibit.

A membership to the Aquarium to check out the penguins, which are my favorite at the Aquarium. How about a box of microwave popcorn and some discounted tickets to the movies from Triple A?

How about tickets to a special event like Disney on Ice during Christmas vacation week? Go with them and take them out to dinner and then off to the Garden to create memories. If you have older boys on your list get them tickets to the Beanpot tournament in February.

Support our local zoos, The Franklin Park Zoo or the Stone Zoo; purchase a family membership and a book on gorillas to whet their interest.

MORE NEWS: Coronavirus in Massachusetts: Today's developments

Creating memories are far better gifts that just wrapping a toy from the toy store.