I wrote an article about some tips of ordering during Xmas. Hope it is helpful in help you better order a portrait next Christmas.

However, it deosn't mean it is too late for your to order but don't order too complicated painting, especially those that need tremendous work of editing and mocking up. 

http://goarticles.com/article/A-Few-Tips-for-Ordering-Photo-to-Painting-During-Christmas-Season/9840469/