We love the work of Alex Obering and were thrilled when she agreed to make some prints specifically for you! Thrilled! Her hope is that you will use them, share them, and bring Christ’s spirit to life in your heart. Her interview below includes her thoughts about how her prints came to be, what Christmas means to her, and her pure faith as a woman of God.
Q: There are so many themes associated with Christmas – why did you pick these four phrases for your prints?
I recently attended a Christmas program put on by a local Lutheran Church. Several people of different faiths came together and celebrated the season in their own way. There was everything from LDS choirs, Catholic Mass excerpts, to Hindu worshiping. At the end of the program the entire congregation, full of a people from several different religions, sang ‘Silent Night’ together. I couldn’t hold back the tears as I sang. I realized that music is the best way for me to receive the spirit of Christ and to feel His love. That’s why I chose to incorporate two different song lyrics in the prints, in hopes that someone else may resonate with Christmas music like I do.
As far as the other two quotes, I don’t really have much of an explanation for them other than that I absolutely love their message. I stumbled upon the quote about Christmas morning back in October and immediately began sobbing. Christmas has become so much more than presents for me in the past few years. I cherish my family much more now than ever before, especially during the holidays. Nothing is more important than family. This year I am especially grateful for Christmas morning – I get to talk with my brother who is serving an LDS mission in Africa. Hearing his voice will be the best present this year.
Q: How do you hope these prints will be used? How are you using them this year?
When I designed them, I had a Christmas mantle in mind. I hope they can be given away as gifts, too – my aunt usually finds a print every year and gives it to me as a gift before Christmas. I have the “Christmas Morning” print as my phone wallpaper and have loved having the reminder every time I open my phone. Do whatever you want with them — knock yourself out! The more hearts they reach the merrier.
Q: What is one of your favorite Christ-centered Christmas memories?
A sweet memory of Christmastime for me as a child includes my little brother. Like I mentioned, he is serving a mission in Uganda, Africa, and just remembering what he taught me helps me feel close to him while he is so far away.
My brother has always been an incredible example of selfless service. When he was younger he had a deep love for motorcycles – so much that my dad built him a track on the side of our house. One year for Christmas he received a new set of riding gear – an entire set that matched from (head) helmet to (toe) riding boots. When his friend came over on Christmas morning to see what he had received from Santa, the embarrassment on this boy’s face was undeniable as he saw my brother’s gifts compared to his (he came from a family of 12 who never had much).
Without batting an eyelash, my brother took of his brand new pair of riding gloves and said, “Hey why don’t you take these? I have an old pair that still fits me, so I don’t need these anyway.” I will never forget the look on that boys face. For the next year or so, every time I saw that friend he had those gloves on. In fact, he never took them off. It’s been years now and those gloves I’m sure are long outgrown, but the principle of service and selfless love that my brother displayed has stuck with me all these years. It’s simple, but it’s little things like giving away one of your favorite gifts that makes this time of year so special.
Q: When you think of Christ during Christmas, what comes to mind first?
I always feel especially close to my Savior at Christmas. However, this year has been interesting because I have been drawn to His mother, Mary. The more I think about her the more I respect and cherish her. Luke 1: 28 – 30 has especially touched me this Christmas season:
“And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.”
I am quite certain that Christ would want us to love and learn about her – He loved her so deeply. I’ve pondered the fact that she was a virgin, and how people must have tormented her for conceiving out of wedlock. Even if she were to live now, I’m not so sure people would receive her well. But I am grateful to Mary for being worthy enough to bear the Christ-child. I hope to be more like Mary as a woman and someday as a mother.
Isn’t she wonderful? May we all feel a deep and personal connection with the Savior this year, as Alex has, and be inspired by His presence in our lives. Thank you for your example, Alex, and for sharing your incredible talent and faith with us. Cheers!