Everyone looks forward to Christmas. The twinkly lights and carols, the mince pies and mulled wine, the awesome TV schedule and Black Friday sales… but parents look forward to Christmas the most.

Why? To queue for an hour and a half to pay to see sweaty man in a fat suit and dodgy beard? Nope. To spend every waking minute (and some of the sleeping ones) planning meals, stocking fillers and what to buy Aunt Harriet? Guess again. To see the joy on their little cherubs’ faces at 5 in the morning on Christmas day? Thanks, but no thanks.

No, December heralds one of the most exciting times of the year for parents – the month of Father Christmas, when parents sit back and bask in the power of the mighty bearded one and his ability to discipline from afar!

Because from as young as they are able to grasp the concept of some strange man descending their chimney to leave presents under their tree - mince pie crumbs in his wake – they know he won’t be coming if they are naughty.

You’d better be nice, Darcy. Don’t pull your brother’s hair or Father Christmas won’t come.

I wouldn’t jump on the couch like that, Hugo buddy: Father Christmas’s watching.

No, Cleo, those glass Christmas ornaments are to go on the tree, not in mummy’s shoes, Father Christmas won’t like it.

(These are all actual sentences I have uttered in the past week.)

Some genius has even created a picture of Father Christmas with a call button to convince even the most tech-savvy sprog that you have the jolly one on speed dial.

You can even incentivise the kids to behave better to improve their chances of seeing their stockings haemorrhaging Minions, Minesweeper or My Little Pony merchandise on Christmas morning:

Father Christmas loves it when kiddies tidy their toys away before dinner.

Did I mention how impressed Father Christmas is with kids who brush their teeth without being asked?

(You could drop hints about how much he loves vacuuming and scrubbing the bathtub, but don’t go too far or they’ll get suss.)

By Christmas Eve, even a knowing look and a glance towards the chimney is enough to stop even the most unruly two-year-old in their tracks as they hold their crayons to the wall in their grimy, chubby little fists.

Which is why I am always a little sad come Christmas morning, when old St Nick has been and gone and the children are playing with their new Frozen paraphernalia or computer games or Lego. And you know that they have got you over a barrel for another 11 months.

And they look up at you and smile, knowingly.