Because if that Elf hasn't moved in the morning, there's hell to pay with the little ones. The jig is up.
During one of these Elf emergencies, I began having dark thoughts about Christa and the other Elf creators who had brought yet another middle-of-the-night Mommy obligation into my life.
The Elf team understands and has provided help on the Elf's Web site, offering explanations for a sedentary Seth Rogen Elf that doesn't breathe a word about mom's post-bedtime Beaujolais binge.
"Sometimes your elf will have a favorite spot, just like you might have a favorite chair or a spot on the couch. If the elf hasn't moved, it is probably sitting in one of its favorite spots!"
The basic Elf story is work enough. But there is an entire population of overachieving parents whose Elves lead lives more exciting than Justin Bieber's. And they have Facebook pages, blogs and Pinterest boards documenting their silly Elves' midnight exploits, like a pillow fight (feathers all over the floor), snowball fight (mini-marshmallows piled all over the house, burying Barbie and Zurg), cookie-making (flour and cookie dough all over the place) or sticking 50,000 Post-it notes on the wall.
Seriously, what kind of adult creates this mess, only to have to clean it up?
Plus, reality is going to be a serious blow for children growing up amid this much magic.
So of course, all this over-the-top ridiculousness has spawned a cottage industry of Elf hatred.
Potty-mouthed screeds declaring "Death to the Elf!" have cropped up everywhere.
The Georgia peaches are bruised.
"I just don't understand this negativity," Christa said. "I find this notion of keeping up with the Joneses so negative. . . . You don't have to be the Griswolds.