It’s 10pm. You’ve been job-working all day. Then kid-working all night: Homework. Dinner. Bath. Conflict Resolution. Books. Bed. Bribery and corruption. Bed again.
Then it’s dishes, folding washing, work emails, stepping over unwrapped teacher’s presents. The Crown.
And now you really, really need to go to bed and spend an hour scrolling through Instagram because you promised yourself tomorrow morning is a gym morning (no, really this time) and then…
That Effing Elf.
If you don't know what an Elf On The Shelf is, can we please swap lives?
Here's a quick cheat sheet. Genius American toymaker decides that what kids really need in the lead-up to Christmas is an extra incentive to be GOOD. And just a little bit paranoid.
So they designed an unconvincing but strangely adorable felt Elf that sits on a shelf and watches. And that's it. The Elf doesn't talk, or move, or download your online shopping list to its Google-Glass eyes, it just sits there, judging.
The Elf comes with a book. The book tells you - and your children, presumably - that this here Elf is a Scout Elf, and that they fly out to visit children and then fly back to visit Santa every night to report on your behaviour and add to the 'naughty or nice' tally.
Listen: Holly Wainwright shares her elf's adventures on This Glorious Mess.
The trick is, every night when he (or she, we have one of both, and the female is distinguished by having earrings and some lippy because #girl) comes back to your house, he settles in a different spot.
And so the hapless parents have to move the Elf every night, and find ever-more interesting and surprising places to hide him so that - SPRUNG! - the kids discover the spirit of Christmas anew every morning. Or something.