A dad has a lot of explaining to do after how he somehow "incinerated" the family's Elf on the Shelf - how he managed this, I have no idea.

Keep scrolling for the full, somewhat ridiculous story...

Now, Christmas is just around the corner...

Which, to all you parents out there, means the annual Elf on the Shelf mischief is most definitely in full swing.

Now, Elf on the Shelf has graced - or haunted - our lives since 2005.

What initially started as a children’s picture book, written by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell, soon turned into a feat of commercial brilliance, and the bane of every parents’ existence.

Elf on the Shelf, for the gloriously unaware, goes a little something like this:

You buy the overpriced book and "Scout Elf" at select retailers. The elf, so the fabricated tale goes, has been sent by Santa to spy on children, and is responsible for reporting back on them.

Each night, it flies to the North Pole to dish the dirt to Santa...

And returns in a different spot each morning to monitor your children's behavior once more.

Sounds simple enough, right?

Well, it's important to remember that, in reality, the elf is actually an inanimate object so, obviously, it is the parents' jobs to move and position the doll in different locations and poses every night.

According to the website:

"Children love to wake up and race around the house looking for their Scout Elf each morning." I think most parents will agree that their children love it a little too much...

Anyway, there have been some truly genius ideas from creative parents over the years.

Let's take a look at a few...

However, these ideas don't always go to plan...

And one family in Kansas found this out the hard way.

Chelsea Hightower had staged a trio of elves in the oven for her 3 children to discover the following morning...

And left them there while she went shopping.

Here's what they looked like.

A cute and inventive idea, right? Well, disaster was soon to hit when her unsuspecting partner, Matt, turned on the oven.

Matt had no idea the elves were sat in the oven...

But it wasn’t long before he realized something was very wrong - as the elves burnt and melted - causing what we can only imagine was a horrific smell.

And, when the realization dawned on him...

It was too late because the unfortunate trio looked like this.

Matt sheepishly called Chelsea to break the news...

But, luckily, she found the whole thing hilarious, and simply bought 3 more dolls on her way home. The couple then fashioned them outside of the oven, alongside the handwritten sign: "Bake cookies... Not Elves!"

Chelsea then shared the elves’ adventure onto Facebook, writing:

“Thank you, everyone, for the concerns of our elves Jingle, Belle, Magic! Yesterday what started out as just warming themselves up in the oven after a day in the fridge things got more toasty than planned when this momma stepped out briefly to roam the aisles of Target solo in hopes to finish up Christmas Shopping..."

She continued:

"It wasn’t long into my outing where I received 'the call' from Matt unaware of what I would hear next... 'Babe I feel horrible (insert long awkward pause) I cooked the elves.' Thankfully the Elfspital got them in quickly & they are expected to make a full recovery after several hours of shopping the whole KC area reconstruction & rest! To whomever this may help in this elf season BAKE COOKIES NOT ELVES!"

Let's hope no more elves are harmed this Christmas!

For more festive blunders, keep scrolling...