S: A Christmas Quest
FC: A Christmas Quest December 2012
1: A Christmas Quest It took forty-two years to reach this point, but you are now embarking upon a journey which leads you towards a healthy, loving, and fulfilling life. In celebration of all your hard work in the past nine months I am sending you on yet another quest - a treasure hunt of sorts. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is simply to open the envelope on the front hall table, follow the clues, and see where your Christmas Quest takes you. And remember, the goal should not be the destination, but instead to enjoy the journey.
2: The Arrival Jeff arrives at the house mid-morning on Saturday, December 22nd. He is surprised to see Niki outside with a camera and he is unaware of what is in store for him.
3: RULES Yes, rules! One does not live a humble, helpful, empathetic life by making up rules as he goes along. This Christmas Quest is no different. Below are the instructions you are asked to follow while on your journey: 1) Your quest is not timed and this is not a race. Feel free to enjoy each step of the journey for as long as you wish. 2) When arriving at a location, if a gift is presented, take time to open and enjoy the gift before you open up the next clue. 3) You will be accompanied by a companion (i.e. Niki) to help document (i.e. photograph) your journey. However, your companion cannot and will not provide any help. She is there simply to support you, treat you with respect, celebrate in your accomplishments, and bare witness to your journey. 4) Have fun! | Will Jeff accept the mission...?
4: Jeff has accepted his Christmas Quest!
5: When embarking upon a journey it is best if one starts off with plenty of energy. Stop by this location to preheat your power source. | CLUE #1 | BAKE, BROIL, OR ROAST UNDER FOIL...
6: THE KITCHEN OVEN Jeff's first clue has provided him with his favorite Christmas cookie - Peanut Butter Blossoms. Now that he has some energy, it's time to move on...
7: After many years of experience, you are able to document the most necessary items to survive in the wild. You carry only what you need and leave the excess baggage behind. Your next destination is to visit the location where your necessary survival arsenal is bucketed. There you will find a possible addition to this list as well as your next clue. | CLUE #2 | PACK YOUR SACK...
8: THE CAMPING ESSENTIALS BUCKET Jeff has found himself in the garage near the camping gear. His gift is a wool sweater to keep him warm on the rest of his journey.
9: I'm going to make this one easy for you and simply tell you to take this tool and go to the light pole in the corner of the front yard. | CLUE #3 | A SHORTCUT!
10: A BOX OF COAL! Jeff took the shortcut, is now in the ditch, out in the cold, all alone and has nothing to show for it except for a box full of coal.
11: You know that anything worth having doesn't come this easy. Now look at you! You left the road, went into the ditch and settled for the easy route. There is nothing at all worth having here. Get back on track, retrace your steps to your last location and dig a bit deeper. | CLUE #4 | SILLY JEFF!
12: BACK TO THE BUCKET... Jeff is now back on track in the garage digging through his camping essentials bucket to find his next clue.
13: Some journeys require majestic transportation in order to arrive at the final destination. Unfortunately, your quest today does not. But that does not mean you can't pause and ponder other people's journeys. Stop by this location to kick back, relax under a warm fleece blanket and do just that. | CLUE #5 | TAKING FLIGHT...
14: THE FAMILY ROOM SOFA Jeff is taking a break from his Christmas Quest to relax near the fire and enjoy his autographed copy of the book "Winging It at a Country Crossroads". It is a book about Minnesota's first airport at the intersection of Snelling and Larpenteur.
15: Now that you've been inspired by the accomplishments of others, it's time to return to your journey. If, while taking a break, you lost motivation to continue on your difficult quest, take this opportunity to remember what is most important by meditating on Baxter's favorite rug. | CLUE #6 | MOTIVATION MEDITATION...
16: NORA'S BEDROOM Jeff is taking a break in Nora's room to enjoy time with the most important person in his life - his daughter. Nora's gift to Jeff on his journey is to remind him that anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad.
17: Not all journeys follow a straight path. You've hit a fork in the road and it is time for you to decide which direction to turn. You may open only one of these envelopes. So trust your higher power, choose wisely, live without regret, and proceed... | CLUE #7 | DETOUR!
18: or | Door #1 | Door #2
19: This portion of your journey is scary, dark and dank. Before fear prevents you from taking the hard road, know that you are not alone. Let Ruby be your guide and Baxter be your support as your crawl into your next destination. | AND JEFF HAS DECIDED UPON... | DOOR NUMBER 1!
20: THE CRAWLSPACE Jeff is selflessly giving to others, even when he is not in the most comfortable spot in his life. | Sometimes it is better to give than receive: "Random acts of kindness warms the heart...and stomach!" "Your thoughtfulness, sacrifice, and selflessness does not go unnoticed."
21: Sometimes life offers us choices and then requires us to live with our decisions. This is one of those cases. While you are now located in a somewhat grimy and uncomfortable position, you are most definitely not back in that ditch! Look around - you are not in isolation, you are selflessly giving to others, and while your path is hard, you are causing no harm. In return, you will be provided with the strength, experience and hope of others to help you out. So, clean up and seek out this knowledge by visiting a place worth cleansing your soul in. Maybe some specks of enlightenment will "bubble" to the surface for you. | CLUE #9 | EXPERIENCE, STRENGTH & HOPE
22: THE MASTER BATHTUB Jeff has found himself near a soul-cleansing bubble bath. Floating in the tub is the gift of 'The Power of Now'. Eckhart Tolle's best seller is a guide to spiritual enlightenment.
23: You are nearing the end of your journey. While some say you should never look back, I wonder how we learn from our mistakes, rejoice in our accomplishments, and remember what is most important if we do not do so. It's time to tell the tale of Christmas past, one ornament at a time. | CLUE #10 | STROLLING DOWN MEMORY LANE...
24: THE CHRISTMAS TREE Before Jeff's journey comes to a close, we are all pausing for a moment at our Christmas tree. On the tree are ornaments representing significant events of our past.
25: There are objects in life, while meaningless to some, can hold thousands of words worth of emotions for others. By opening this box, you will find such an example. Thank you for embarking upon this quest today. Let the enclosed be a guide for the rest of your life's journey. | THE FINAL CLUE | "X"-MAS MARKS THE SPOT!
26: BABY BUDDHA'S As a guide for the rest of Jeff's journey, he has been presented with three baby Buddha figurines.
27: Buddha is represented in many different ways by many different cultures. The "baby" Buddha representation was chosen purposely for you as you are new on your journey. Just as a baby looks at the world through unfiltered lenses, you are tasked with no longer allowing your part thoughts, feelings, actions or behaviors to guide you on your journey. Instead, you must look at the world with a fresh vision, be open to new possibilities, and "cut new grooves" towards the self you wish to become. The Reading Baby Buddha With wisdom comes enlightenment. You have spent a great deal of time this year in exploration of your past, in contemplation of your present and in defining your future. Through books, conversations, connections and insight you have discovered much about yourself. You are still new in peeling back the layers that comprise you. But the more you embark upon self-exploration, the more you will come to understand, and the more enlightened you will become. The Meditating Baby Buddha In quest of emotional balance and clarity. You are no longer allowed to deny, nor avoid, that which makes you fearful or uncomfortable. Seek inner peace by concentrating on your breathing - in and out. Allow your body to become centered and open your mind up to all possibilities afforded to you. Do not run from your troubles, but focus on them, clarify them, define them, address them, and then continue on your journey. Remember, one does not get over his troubles, he gets through them. The Praying Baby Buddha Humbly seek guidance from your higher power. "it is your own best thinking that has brought you to this point." You now know that you are not the center of the universe, you do not have as much control as you thought, and you must relinquish control to your higher power for guidance on your journey. Surrender your defects of character to your higher power. Be willing and able to replace your defects with the ideal qualities possessed by your higher power. "You can't, He can, and you with let Him."
29: Merry Christmas Jeff! Love, Niki, Nora, Ruby & Baxter
30: The Making of A Christmas Quest | It all started with three baby Buddha's...
31: Niki was looking for a gift to represent Jeff's journey into enlightenment this year. The symbolism behind each Buddha got Niki thinking of additional gifts which could represent Jeff's past nine months. As the gift ideas started to appear, so did each location of the Christmas Quest. Niki put her planning, organization and documentation skills to work and laid out a game plan for the journey. It has taken one month worth of planning and countless hours of investment, but it has also been a ton of fun. What started with three baby Buddha's turned into a metaphoric journey for Jeff to carry forward through the rest of his life.