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December 24th, 2012
09:12 AM ET

Robbery of family's home caught on tape; Shawn & Casey Graham tell their story: 'we were lucky to not be there when it happened'

Like a scene right out of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” thieves broke into an Oklahoma City family's home this holiday, tore open Christmas gifts and even knocked over their Christmas tree. The family says the thieves stole about $5,000 worth of electronics and a handgun. Oddly enough, while the real-life Grinches unwrapped the Graham’s gifts, they did not steal any of them. What they didn’t realize is that they were caught on tape by security cameras installed by the family just three weeks before. This morning, robbery victims Shawn and Casey Graham join “Starting Point” to tell their story.

Initially, Shawn thought that their dogs had torn up their tree for the candy canes, “but it was still too hard to believe that they did that.” The security cameras told the true story. Casey says she was “shocked and surprised.” “It makes you angry to see somebody going through your stuff and going through your home when there’s nothing you can do about it,” Casey says.

The robbers have not yet been caught, but the Grahams hear that authorities have great leads. Meanwhile, they say they feel fortunate. “There were homes that were completely cleared out or… robbed in person,” Shawn says. “We were lucky to not be there when it happened and that they didn’t make off with any more than they did.”

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Filed under: Christmas • Crime • Holiday
December 24th, 2012
08:43 AM ET

"Christmas With The First Ladies" Author Coleen Christian Burke: Christmas decorating at the White House is 'an enormous undertaking'

Celebrating Christmas at the White House is more than about lighting the national Christmas tree, a longstanding tradition. Each First Lady who comes to the White House brings with her a different style and set of traditions during the holidays. But they do get some help.

Coleen Christian Burke spent a year researching secrets of some of the most famous First Ladies when it comes to decorating the White House. Burke was even part of the 2008 White House decorating team, a long-time dream come true for her. The experience inspired her to write "Christmas With The First Ladies: The White House Decorating Tradition From Jacqueline Kennedy to Michelle Obama". She comes to “Starting Point” this morning to share some rare photos and talk about what goes into decorating the White House for the holidays.

“It’s an enormous undertaking,” Burke says about prepping and planning the White House Christmas. “And I like to say the First Lady is the Commander-in-Chief of Christmas. It’s her vision; we execute it, but it’s done with almost military precision.”

Burke explains that planning the White House Christmas theme begins in February or March of the year before. “And then a lot of work actually happens off-site where you’re pre-building and assembling everything,” she says. “Once the decorations are all put together, they are moved to the White House and there’s an enormous two-day install that goes on.” She describes it “like moving day at the White House.”

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Filed under: Christmas • Holiday • White House