When I exit the freeway on the way to work, I'm directly across the street from our office building. One coworker always gets to work insanely early, turning on the office lights, which shine nicely through the off ramp facing windows.
When she is there, I need only fish out the keys to my office door once I'm standing in front of it. When she is not, however, I need to open three different types of door locks on my way to my office, all while carrying a heavy bag of stuff and a full cup of hot coffee.
The signal that I should find all the various lock-opening implements is the lack of light in the office windows as I exit the freeway. It's a much more reliable reminder than my memory, which can't seem to hold the information that my coworker is off at least three of four Fridays per month.
Well, it's a good signal all of the year, except December. After the third time I thought she was on vacation, only to find that she was indeed already in the office, with only her individual office lights on, I asked why she wasn't turning on the rest of the overheads.
"I like it with just the tree lights on in the office."
Duh. I'd seen, but not really noticed, that while the overheads were not on, she had plugged in the office Christmas tree.
Now it makes complete sense. I, too, love being in a room lit solely by the light of the Christmas tree. The only redeeming feature of the short, short days of December is the extended time to sit near the sparkling tree in the mornings.
It must bring back unconscious childhood feelings, that anticipation of Christmas morning. My parents would leave the tree plugged in overnight Christmas Eve, so the lights were on when we got up Christmas Day (before the parents, of course). We'd sit in the light of the tree, waiting impatiently for the rest of the house to get up, chug some coffee and give us the go-ahead to start the package demolition process.
A table lamp was on when this picture was taken, so it's not quite the same. Still, it was a nice morning to sit in front of the tree and the fire, with a quilt and a cup of coffee.
I plan to do quite a bit of that over the Christmas break.