BOSTON (CBS) – Can you really save on Christmas spending? Giving to fewer recipients is a good start.

Trim down your gift list 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 and afterwards as well when many of those gifts need to be returned.

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Consider foregoing the adults and just the kids get gifts, perhaps only those under 12 who are still fun to shop for. For the rest do a Yankee swap after dinner.

Or consider putting everyone’s name in a hat at Thanksgiving and each family member draws a name. You can do this for kids 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 a family.

Consider buying a family gift rather than individual gifts for your siblings’ kids. A gift that keeps on giving, one that can create memories. And you can make memories on the cheap.

How about a trip to Faneuil Hall Marketplace for pizza and to see the free light show? “Blink” starts on the 20th and will be there thru January first. The sights and sounds are pleasing to all ages.

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A membership to the Aquarium to check out the penguins which are my favorites. Right now, they have a 10% off special thru December 31st. If the kids are older consider taking in a IMAX movie, Great White Shark, the Humpback Whales or Galapagos 3D: Nature’s Wonderland.

A membership to the Museum of Science. Here again the IMAX theater is always the first thing I check out. The National Parks Adventure and the Dolphin film are worth the trip into town. The other place I find myself in is the Butterfly Garden.

These are all great places to visit during Christmas break. Creating memories is a far better gift and it lasts longer than a toy.


You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

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