It has already been a long Christmas Eve. We're staying at my partner's parents' house and having just about survived an evening's eclectic mix of Christmas carols and Susan Boyle CDs, I'm really ready for bed.
But my partner has other ideas.
"Can you help me finish off wrapping the presents?" she says.
My heart sinks.
"Can't we finish them off in the morning?" I plead.
Clearly that was never going to happen; the smart money was already on our children waking in t-minus five hours to begin their opening sorties on the obscene amount of presents that had begun appearing in colourful piles dotted around the house over the past few days.
You see, my partner and I have different strategies towards the onerous art of wrapping Christmas presents late on a Christmas Eve.
Despite the late hour, my aim would still nevertheless be to wrap each and every present individually with almost military precision. A Christmas present looks best when wrapped with a crisp and clean finish; a little like making a bed with hospital corners. Use the correct amount of wrapping paper and sticking tape to complete each individual job. Attaching labels is not optional. It is a must.
However, eager to get the job done ASAP, my partner embarked on an alternative and speedier approach - laudable in light of the late hour - but which in my humble opinion led to varying degrees of success.
Let me stress at this point that I don't claim to be an expert gift wrapper. But I do believe the job requires patience and the correct tools; namely enough wrapping paper of varying designs, a good quality sticking tape and long, sharp scissors. Oh, and enough time to complete the job before wishing, again, that Christmas never existed.
On reflection, if I were to offer my thoughts to my partner on how the presents were wrapped this past Christmas Eve, it would include:
Unfortunately not enough wrapping paper was used on some gifts, particularly the larger ones, to conceal the treasures within. I think our daughter realised she was getting a Frozen pen set well before Christmas Eve, while it sat there by the tree.
It seemed more sticking tape than actual paper was used to wrap some of the presents. And on occasion a combination of different wrapping paper, presumably recycled from last year, was used to wrap one gift.
Clearly, the use of short, rusty nail scissors was never going to produce cleanly cut paper.
Finally, leaving price tags on gifts is a particular festive faux pas and really should have been avoided.
With our wrapping project finally completed, I carried two bulging stockings into the children's bedroom and carefully left them on top of their duvets at the foot of their beds, tantalisingly close to their toes.
Lurking behind me in the gloom, my partner whispered to me that maybe we should leave their stockings on the floor at the end of their beds instead, in case of spillage.
We gazed at each other.