‘Twas the night before Christmas… and I snapped a few pictures of our living room complete with festive décor for all of you to see. For this year’s holiday theme, I went with vintage reds, creams, and metallics:

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This wall in our living room usually hangs antique artwork I’ve collected but for the holidays I took them down and put up these vintage painted tin ceiling tiles I found at a flea market. They were the perfect backdrop for our tree.

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For wrapping I used lots of craft paper and twine

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More presents!

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More of our decor. I spritzed our pine cones with pine aromatherapy oil and dusted them with cinnamon.

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I planted our poinsettias in vintage soda crates and placed some mason jars filled with fake snow and ornaments (like the above nutcracker one) here and there. They made great decor and were simple to put together.

Then, on Christmas morning, we all awoke to find this!

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Our living room was in complete disarray. Santa and his reindeers had come and snacked but left quite the mess!

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Chippy our elf had left his post in the kitchen and moved to the living room where he oversaw everything!

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OMG! Santa had left 2 dune racers and a mini ride for Hattie.

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Hattie loved her new present!! Thank you Santa!

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Stockings for each of my babes

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Our homemade stockings complete with monkey, ladybug, kitty cat, and bear embellishments had been stuffed with goodies!

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Liam dives into his stocking

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Stella got neon pink legwarmers. Toddler chic!

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And a pink guitar! She wants to form a rock band, with Liam on drums and Hattie singing. Maybe Finn can shake the rattle!

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More goodies…

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Uncle Mehran celebrated with us

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Santa Bags filled… Guess the kids weren’t on the naughty list this year

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Finn aka Bear’s first Santa bag!!

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Daddy aka The Grinch poses with his new mustache keychain from his stocking

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Hattie loves her big bro Jack!

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Finn aka Santa Claus and his Mrs. Claus Zoe oversaw all the festivities

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The aftermath!

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Minnie doesn’t want the presents touched!

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Oh well Minnie lost but settled for some wrapping paper as a bed.

Then, it was time for breakfast!

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For Christmas breakfast I made a French Toast Casserole courtesy of a fabulous Paula Deen recipe

Paula’s Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup

Ingredients:
• 1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
• 8 large eggs
• 2 cups half and half
• 1 cup milk
• 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 dash salt
• Praline topping
• Maple syrup

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Praline Topping Recipe:
• ½ pound (2 sticks) butter
• 1 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1 cup chopped pecans
• 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
*Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well

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Directions:
1. Slice French bread into 20 slices (slices should be 1-inch thick)
2. Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9×13 inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices
3. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half and half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and whisk until blended
4. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture
5. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices
6. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight
7. The next day, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
8. Spread the praline topping over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden
9. Serve with maple syrup

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Easy to make and sooooo yummy!

And that is how the McDermotts spent Christmas morning! Surrounded by beautiful décor, gifts from Santa, smiling babes and delicious food, this may have been our best Christmas yet.

Check back tomorrow because I’ll be posting my picTORIal from our Christmas Dinner, complete with mouthwatering recipes! And later today, I’ll be posting a home video from Christmas morning. You won’t want to miss it!

What did Santa bring you and your family this year?

 Love,

T

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