My Favorite Christmas Gift For A Dad or Mom

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Before I jump into a bunch of gift guides, I wanted to share my very favorite Christmas gift for a dad or mom. It’s a Christmas gift I’ve given my husband four times already, and am planning to give it again. Every time, it’s been so meaningful both to give and receive.

This post about my favorite Christmas gift for a dad contains affiliate links, but all opinions are 100% my own. That means I earn a small commission if you purchase through my link, but doesn’t change your price.


Custom Baby Painting from a Photo

We love photos, but there’s something really special about fine art in our home. So the year our oldest child turned 1, I took a photo of him and send it off to a fine artist, who created a beautiful piece of oil-on-canvas art based on the photo.

My husband was so surprised on Christmas morning, and was absolutely thrilled. It’s such a special memento and definitely solidified its place as a best Christmas gift for a dad.

Since then, every year that we’ve had a 1 year old, I’ve given him an oil painting done of our baby (based on a photo around their 1st birthday). It’s a treasure having them all together! I debated doing one this year, but since our current baby doesn’t turn a year old until January, I decided to wait.

Surprise Christmas Gift For A Dad or Mom

The only downside to a traditional gift is that it takes away some of the element of surprise! Fortunately, my husband usually forgets by the next time we have a baby ;), and either way, it’s still a surprise what it looks like. I love watching his expression as he sees my favorite Christmas gift for a father for the first time.

How to Have a Custom Art Baby Painting Done From A Photo

This is one of those gifts that I highly recommend starting a bit early so you have enough time to get it shipped before whatever holiday you celebrate.

The first step is to take a photo of your baby! While it can be nice to have a professional quality photo, it’s really not necessary for this. The artist will be using their own sense of color and lighting, and you can often request slight changes from the photo (e.g., remove the bandage on the cheek, or possibly even something like using the hair from one photo and smile from another if they have similar enough poses). It’s a totally original gift that is unique to the recipient and definitely one of my favorite spouse gifts.

I’ve worked with a few different artists on these, and I find that they usually take anywhere from 2-6 weeks to sketch paint, and then they may take another week or two to ship. Some artists book up well in advance, though, so be sure to plan ahead!

Here is the artist we’ve used for our past couple babies, but there are also plenty more on Etsy. You can also ask friends and family for artist suggestions. And I love these frames – I get an 8×10 piece of custom artwork and use an 11×14 frame with a mat. They’re clean and simple and pretty. 

How Much Does A Custom Painting Cost?

The cost really varies by the artist’s skill level, style, and experience. We’ve paid in the $200-300 range for each of ours, which are all oil on canvas. We’ve been delighted with them!

Who Should I Give Custom Art To?

While this is my favorite Christmas gift for a dad, it can also be wonderful for other loved ones! Some options are grandparents, a beloved aunt or uncle, a godparent, or others to whom you feel really close. And of course, this is a great Christmas gift for a mom, as well!

What Other Custom Art Can I Have Done?

Don’t have a baby? There are plenty of other options for custom art! Some custom painting options are a childhood home, a favorite vacation destination, a family painting or one with all the children, a pet, or even one of the receiver themselves! You could also have a watercolor painting or sketch or graphite drawing done, and those are often much less expensive. The sky’s the limit.

Have you ever given custom art as a gift? I’d love to hear!






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