After a tense Thanksgiving holiday, which saw the polygamist Brown family divided due to Kody Brown‘s firm pandemic guidelines, the Sister Wives stars enjoyed Christmas together — and witnessed firsthand how isolation has affected their clan.
“It’s interesting, and it’s even a little sad, that Ariella is forgetting who her brothers and sisters are,” Kody, 52, said in a teaser for the upcoming January 16 episode.
In the clip, Ariella, Kody and Robyn Brown‘s 6-year-old daughter, and the youngest of the family, is seen unwrapping presents but appeared confused as to which sibling gave her the gift, seemingly forgetting their names.
One of the rules put in place by the patriarch to prevent the spreading of COVID-19 amongst the family of 23 included strict isolation. The sister wives and their children have been prohibited from mingling with one another besides those inside their own immediate households. Instead, Kody travels in between his wives’ homes.
The Christmas celebration appears to be the first time that most of the family has been in one household since Kody put the rules into effect, and the wives, Meri Brown, Janelle Brown, and Robyn, 43, as well as Kody’s now ex-wife Christine Brown, appreciated the gathering at Robyn’s household.
“Overall, I’d say our Christmases are always really good,” Janelle said during a confessional. “We just kind of put whatever problems and issues individuals will be having — we just kind of put those aside and just tackle that on another day.”
“I think we’ve damaged some relationships. So I think it’s time to get back to the normalcy and see if we can smooth some of those things out,” she added.
Robyn believed that the holiday was helping to melt “away some of the hurt” between members of the family.
Janelle stated it was a “great Christmas” in the clip.
However, it appears the 2020 holiday didn’t fully help the family heal. In November 2021, Christine, 49, made the shocking announcement that she was leaving Kody.
“After more than 25 years together, Kody and I have grown apart and I have made the difficult decision to leave,” Christine wrote via Instagram at the time. “We will continue to be a strong presence in each other’s lives as we parent our beautiful children and support our wonderful family. At this time, we ask for your grace and kindness as we navigate through this stage within our family. With Love, Christine Brown.”
She has since left the family’s compound in Coyote Pass, Arizona and returned to Utah. The family’s foundation has seemed to continue to splinter. In December 2021, Janelle shared a photo of herself alongside “almost all of” her kids for Christmas. Kody was not present in her recent pictures of the holiday.
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