The Brooklyn Nine-Nine star recalls one Christmas when he and his actress wife Rebecca King-Crews decided to punish their five kids over the festive holidays because they were misbehaving.

"Three years ago I had a problem with my family," he told U.S. chat show The Talk. "The kids (were acting) entitled and I told Santa, 'Don't come by my house.' Literally, I said, 'Guys, you're not going to get anything for Christmas,' and they looked at me and laughed..."

The 48-year-old explains it was difficult for the couple to stick to its plan, but he and Rebecca were the ones left surprised by their brood's reaction.

"We went all the way through those months... and Christmas was coming up and it was nothing (sic)," he continued. "I mean, zero under the tree. And they were like, 'Uh, I know he's faking.' My wife was nervous. She was like, 'Are you sure you want to make this happen...?' But I said, 'This may save their life (sic), it's that important'."

"They came downstairs (on Christmas Day), there was nothing under the tree and they started looking... and I said, 'Guys, understand that this is very, very serious.' There were tears and everyone was a little upset, but... what I said was, 'What Santa and I have done, we have decided that the money that would have been spent on you went to a girls' orphanage here in Los Angeles and they are going to enjoy the presents.'"

Crews admits he grew emotional as his children readily accepted the news.

He added, "I was in tears because of the reaction. I was scared that they were going to be (upset). They were so happy and overjoyed. They were like, 'I get it dad, I understand why you did this. I understand why we couldn't get anything. We got it.' It was the best Christmas of all time."