Christmas Day Thoughts

Christmas Day Thoughts

The world is a great place. We are fortunate to be born and live on this beautiful planet. All around us, there are opportunities for happiness and success. Today is a celebration of birth, and this festival unites millions of humans.

Over the last few weeks, I have worked with my partner Lizzy at the Lizian Crystal and Incense stall here in Nottingham. No doubt this has been our busiest Christmas on record. Awake at six in the morning non-stop until arriving home at seven in the evening.

This stall is a unique place of work. You’ll meet every type of character from beggar to seriously wealthy. We sell incense with a price range from £1:20 to £21:00 a box and minerals at 50 pence to a thousand. I love the mix of customers and our conversations: For examples: the crazy guy who casts spells on his neighbour, girls looking for love, the broken-hearted and happy people fill the day with intrigue and laughter.

View the gallery to get a feel for a day at the market

Our objective is to make sure everyone leaves with a smile and a feeling of being appreciated for their purchase. Few feelings are better than knowing someone is thankful for their custom. You can be sure the customers leave with no doubt of our appreciation for their purchases. After all, without them, we would be sitting at a desk and working nine till five. Not that we would not put heart and soul into office employment: to my mind, self-employment is a better way to personal success.

Some of the goods sold over the last few weeks will have been wrapped for presents, and this morning, the gifts will be opened. I like the thought that people are enjoying items purchased from our stall. No doubt our name will be mentioned in answer to the question ‘Where did you find this?’

I know this question is asked because in the new year I will listen to ‘My mum bought my Christmas present from here’ and a new customer is made. Year on year customers grow in number; In fact, there is not a day goes by when we do not see an old friend at the stall. And, many customers become friends, I feel this acknowledges that our ethos is working. Liz and I know our customers provide us with a brilliant life and we are thankful to every one of them.

Yesterday, we opened the stall from ten until three-thirty. The roads into the city were free from traffic and a ‘slow’ day was expected. We were wrong; trade was busy, it was worth opening. One customer commented: ‘I knew you would be open’ this is a confirmation of our reputation. We believe If the market is open, the stall will be open, it is important to be consistent with opening times. Over the years I have noticed people become agitated looking at a closed sign or notes saying ‘open at 11: 00 today’ on other traders stalls.

Around two-thirty, Liz opened the accounts book and switched on her Mac. During the next forty-five minutes, she paid all outstanding bills and placed an order with a wholesaler. The market closed at three-thirty, and the shutters to the stall came down half an hour later.

At home, we changed the bedding, cleaned the house and loaded the washing machine. I prepared the vegetables for today. By six thirty we sat down to eat a lamb tagine which had been in the slow cooker for nine hours. Later, as I sat in bed sipping whisky and thinking, the realisation is: I am a fortunate man, this is a warm home, the bills are paid, I have many good friends. I remember there is one substantial outstanding debt which is to be settled in the new year, and this does not concern me. There is not a worry in my world, not a one.

An hour ago in a documentary, I watched one of my favourite celebrities. It is his character which appeals more than his work. His name? Keith Richards. As the film progressed I thought about how he could have survived so many years of self-abuse. His excessive use of drugs, cigarettes and alcohol should have closed Keith’s book of life years ago. Of course, the secret is no secret. The musician loves life and loves his music, family and friends. He is always laughing: not at: with life: and the pleasure found within his music.

I understand the reason for his success. It is taking pleasure in what he does and honing his skills every day of his life. Keith said ‘I’m not getting old – I’m evolving’ there is magic in those few words. This seems like a mantra worth remembering. Do not grow old my friends: Just evolve.

Our two businesses thrive. The plans for next year are exciting and it will be a great pleasure working them to fruition. The rewrite of ‘Never Let Anything Worry You’ is a success. As I tap this essay, another thought arises. The formulas for my success are found in ‘Never Let…’ and are used every day of my life. My life is more than good; it is happy and secure. Now, this is not a plug for the book; it is an indication that if we formulate an objective and as the plan is followed slight adjustments are made, it will evolve and come to fruition. The lesson is this: No matter what we choose to do if it is well considered and sensible, the probability of success is high.

Liz and I have no illusions; success is due to a mutual respect for all the people within our environment. There is no room for half measure or false promises. Without our customers and The Community Members who are part of LizianEvents, we would not be within the secure environment we now enjoy.

We do not give each other Christmas or birthday presents. There is no need: we have everything we could ask for: every day is a celebration to us. We have our friends, community and customers to thank for this great life. What better present could I have today?

Thank you all.
Happy Christmas 2017


  1. I agree with the sentiment hard work does indeed bring its own rewards, I am grateful for all the advice you and Liz have given me this year and I look forward to the continuation of the “evolution of self ” in 2018.

  2. This is very good Ian and so true can relate totally to the shop / stall family the community family and chosen family and also relates to the character and integrity of ourselves well said my friend

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