By Josie Lydick
Distinguished Young Woman of New Hampshire for 2014

Hey There! I know with the holiday season just around the corner everyone is wondering what to put on their Black Friday shopping lists. Well, this year there are absolutely five things you must put on your gift list, and here are what they are:

    I know what you must be thinking. Connect Four? I played that game when I was in elementary school. This, however, is not a game of matching colored checkers in patterns. This is a pledge. A pledge stating that you will make an effort to CONNECT with your family at least FOUR times throughout the holiday season. When in Alabama for the Distinguished Young Women program, I learned something new. I learned that sometimes the best way to connect to another individual is by disconnecting from my phone. I was able to enjoy my time with my little sister Amelia and little brother Thomas a lot more than my actual siblings because I did not have my phone to use twenty-four hours of the day. This got me thinking: How much quality time do I really spend with my family? This year I challenge you to take some time away from yourself and spend it with the people you are thankful for.
  • C.A.R
    Even though seeing a shiny new Mercedes Benz in the driveway would be amazing, that is not what this shopping list item means. The letters in car actually stand for CARING AT RANDOM, also known as RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS. This holiday season why don’t you try to give back to those who give to you? Sometimes, a smile is the best present a person can receive for Christmas. My second challenge for you this year is to randomly do something to make someone else smile! Throughout my years as a dancer, we would always go out and perform for our community, in order to show our appreciation. We did not get paid or get rewards, but we did get to share memories with other members of our community, which was the best present we could have received!
    Clothes. Black Friday Shopping would be nothing without hitting the malls in search of the hottest fashions. However, lets take this opportunity to clear out the closet and get A NEW LOOK on life! This Christmas try something new! Instead of trying on all of your brand new shoes, put yourself in the shoes of someone else. Life is all about perspective, and sometimes the picture needs a couple points a view to see the whole image. This Christmas why not see life on the other side and take the time to volunteer at a soup kitchen or help put gift baskets together for children who wont receive a “visit from Santa” this year. Pinkerton Academy Student Council was one of my favorite clubs in high school because of their generosity to the community. They participated in a number of holiday based charities the helped provide to the less fortunate. We took a look at the other side of life and helped turn it around!
    This cute little electronic game allows you to guess a person based on their catch phrase.  However, there is one CATCH PHRASE that everyone should embrace this time of year: Thank You! This is the time of year about giving thanks to those who do so much for you. During this holiday season, remember your manners and say thank you for even the littlest of actions. There is nothing in the world that somebody must do for you, but there are things that they would like to do; which is why we thank them for their actions. If there were one person I could say thank you to more, it would be my mom Glenna. She has given up the best years of her life to raise me. She spent hours driving me to and from dance, watching dance competitions, feeding me, housing me, clothing me and sending me to college. If it were not for her generosity, I would not be where I am today. Therefore share the love this holiday season and share your appreciation to those who appreciate you.
    This item is simply to lead your way to the bright future ahead of you :-)

This Black Friday why not rethink your shopping cart? There are so many things in this world that we do not notice, and we should! Instead of materials, try to make memories this holiday season.

Stay Distinguished,

Josie Marie Lydick
Josie Lydick is a college freshman at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York majoring in Psychology. Originally from Derry, New Hampshire, Josie was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of New Hampshire for 2014. Learn more about Josie here!

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