Aberdeen jumped up to second spot in the Premiership with a 2-0 win over Hearts at Pittodrie.
Striker Sam Cosgrove maintained his red hot form with a deadly double as he scored for a fourth successive game.
January signing Cosgrove has now netted six goals in four games with Aberdeen winning each match.
A fourth straight victory sets up the Dons brilliantly for the Boxing Day clash with league leaders and defending champions Celtic at Pittodrie.
Aberdeen grabbed the lead in the opening minute when Stevie May dinked a cross into the centre of the penalty area from the left wing.
Strike partner COSGROVE maintained his scoring form by rising to direct a header beyond keeper Colin Doyle into the top left hand corner.
It was a superbly directed header as Cosgrove left the keeper with no chance.
Fueled by that early break-through the Dons attacked with real intent and came close in the eighth minute when Niall McGinn fired a shot just wide at the near post from 12 yards.
Soon after McGinn was again involved when he controlled the ball on his chest, let it drop then volleyed at goal from 25 yards.
It was straight at keeper Doyle who saved but it was a mark of the clear confidence within the Aberdeen side.
Aberdeen had a goal disallowed in the 24th minute when a looping cross from full-back Shay Logan on the right drifted in at the far corner.
However there was contact from Lewis Ferguson on keeper Colin Doyle on the line. It may have been negligible but there was contact.
On the half hour mark Hearts opted to go short with a free kick and keeper Joe Lewis had to produce a superb save to deny Olly Lee.
Direct from that save the Dons broke up field on the counter attack as the game action raged on.
Aberdeen threatened in the 43rd minute when Cosgrove found Shinnie racing down the left with a quick throw in.
The Dons skipper broke into the box but his 12 yard shot flashed along the face of goal and wide.
Aberdeen suffered a blow in the 48th minute when on loan Derby County left-back Max Lowe went down injured in front of the dugout following a knock.
He was immediately taken off and replaced by Dean Campbell.
Captain Shinnie moved to left back with Campbell introduced to the midfield.
In the 63rd minute Steven Naismith met an inswinging free-kick but his glancing header flashed wide from 22 yards.
Aberdeen increased their advantage in the 69th minute through who else, that man again COSGROVE.
A penalty was awarded when Scott McKenna was dragged down in the box.
In form COSGROVE stepped up and calmly sent keeper Doyle the wrong way as fired low into the left hand corner.
Moments later there was a flash-point in front of the dug-outs when Naismith appeared to trample on Ferguson’s calm when the teen was lying on the pitch.
There was a melee in the aftermath with a number of players involved.
Referee Beaton took his time to make a decision then booked Naismith and Dons substitute Stephen Gleeson.
Hearts were reduced to 10 men in the 85th minute when Dean Mitchell was sent off for a second yellow card.
His second caution came for a bad challenge on Dean Campbell.
ABERDEEN: Lewis, Logan, Considine, McKenna, Lowe, Shinnie, Ferguson, McGinn, May, Cosgrove, McLennan.
Subs: Campbell (for Lowe 48), Gleeson (for May 60), Wright (for McLennan 87)
Subs not used: Cerny, Wilson, Forrester, Anderson.
HEARTS: Doyle, M. Smith, Haring, Berra, Bozanic. Lee, Clare, Mitchell, Naismith, MacLean, Godinho.
Subs: McDonald (for Naismith 78), Morrison (for Clare 83),
Subs not used: Zlamal, Hughes, Mulraney, Brandon, C. Smith.
Referee: John Beaton