So remember when I was curating my 2015 gift guides for you?
At the time, I really, really, really wanted to tell you guys about the Christmas gift that was in the works for my dad, but I didn’t want to ruin the surprise. So I’m so excited to share this with you today! Because this gift was so meaningful to both me and my Dad, it truly is the best one that I’ve ever given someone. (My language of love is definitely giving, so that also might have something to do with it!)
When my boss bought a house a few months ago, her realtor presented her with a custom home sketch at closing. I thought it was such a nice housewarming gift and that the artist was particularly talented, so I asked her for his name, even though its still a few years until I even consider owning a home.
But then I had an idea. You see, my Dad is one of the hardest people to shop for since he can pretty much buy everything he wants or needs, so I usually opt for sentimental gifts. He and his six siblings sold their parents house in September, the home they’d known since 1969. I thought commissioning Joe Galantino, the same artist who sketched my boss’ house, to draw the Urban family home would be the perfect gift for him this Christmas.
I reached out to Joe in October with this picture of the home in the 1970s. Of course, we have plenty of snapshots of the house over the years, and my family even lived there for a few months while our house in Fairfax was being built. But I ultimately chose a throwback image because that was when the house was most full of life, when all seven siblings were around.
After my initial conversation with Joe, I was so excited about this gift that I wanted to skip Halloween and Thanksgiving. He had me send over some other images of the home, and gave me his cell phone number so we could talk about any of the small details I wanted to include, such as the American flag as a nod to my Grandpa’s service in the Navy.
I was also able to buy signed print copies for my Dad’s six siblings, which I framed in simple black frames, so that they could all have one, too. Seeing their faces on Christmas Eve was absolutely priceless. So while this gift was definitely on the more costly side, I would highly recommend working with Joe as it’s perfect way to commemorate a home sale or purchase. And when I buy a home, I definitely want Joe to sketch it for my Christmas cards!
(Note: this post was not sponsored in any way. Joe doesn’t even know I have a blog, yet alone am writing about his awesome work. I am sharing this for the sole reason of giving y’all a great, special, custom gift idea for when you need one!)