Everyone has their own ideas of how Christmas should be spent; whether it’s a big, traditional dinner with the family, drinks with friends, or even a bit of peace and quiet alone.
Of course there’s no right or, wrong way to spend it, but one mum has turned heads after revealing she’ll be spending the festive holiday with her fiancé and his ex-girlfriend – with the two women even going as far as bonding over their sex lives.
Kaylee Hamilton has been in a relationship with Javan Sebastian, 27, for three years, and together they share sons Milan, two, and one-month-old Marcellus. However, Javan also shares five-year-old daughter Nevaeh with his ex-partner Emily Cann, who he was in a relationship with for three years.
While co-parenting can be difficult around the holiday season, especially when there’s step-parents in the mix, Kaylee and Emily, both 25, have bonded so well they say their relationship is like being sisters, making life so much easier for their children, who are of course half-siblings.
In addition to Emily and her daughter, Kaylee and Javan will also be spending Christmas with Emily’s partner, Euros Thomas, and their two children, three-year-old Amara and five-month-old Dottie. Kaylee also has a three-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.
“Some might think it is a bit odd that Javan’s ex and her family will spend Christmas with me, Javan and the kids but for us, it will feel like any normal Christmas,” Kaylee said.
“It solves the problem of who will have Nevaeh on Christmas Day which used to cause arguments and doing it this way means neither Javan or Emily misses out. We all get along really well – Emily is like a sister to me.”
The blended families will spend the morning swapping pressies, with a £40 budget between the adults and the same for each child, before the older children play together, while Kaylee and Emily catch up and Javan cooks.
“Then we’ll have some drinks, perhaps watch a Christmas film and they’ll all stay the night. We did it last year and can’t wait to do the same again,” she added.
Kayley and Emily met for the first time in May 2019, just a couple of months after Kaylee first started dating Javan, but at the time, Emily wasn’t feeling quite as welcoming.
“I was wary of Emily as anyone would be with an ex-partner. I didn’t know if she still had feelings for Javan. The first time we met was when Emily came to collect Nevaeh. We were amicable and said a quick hello but that’s as far as it went,” Kaylee recalled. If Emily and Javan fell out, I always sided with Javan. Looking back, I probably got involved more than I should’ve done.”
Emily agreed: “I didn’t like Kaylee at first. Me and Javan had been apart for a year when Javan met Kaylee and we still argued a lot. We disagreed on childcare when it came to Nevaeh and Kaylee would take his side. That made things difficult between us. We saw each other when we had to.”
However, things started to change between the two women when Kaylee fell pregnant with Nevaeh’s half-brother, Milan, and they felt they were on more of an “even footing.”
“My feelings towards Emily changed towards the end of my pregnancy with Milan. Both of us would have a child with Javan which put us on a more even footing. With Javan being the dad of both children, we found a common ground. She no longer felt like a threat to mine and Javan’s relationship,” Kaylee recalled.
“My labour with Milan was induced and I was in hospital for a week. Javan couldn’t drive and because I didn’t have family close by Emily helped out. She dropped snacks at the hospital and anything else I needed. It became impossible not to like her because she was being so kind, and it was during that time she started to feel like a friend and not just Javan’s ex.”
A few weeks later, Kayle invited Emily out on a shopping trip to thank her for her kindness, and while they anticipated it might be a little awkward, neither of them could believe how well they get along.
“I expected it to feel awkward with it being just the two of us because it isn’t every day you go out with your ex’s new partner, but I was surprised by our similarities,” Emily recalled. “We’re both fiery and loud and we found out we have the same style and tastes in clothes – and we both talk a lot.”
Kaylee added: “The more Emily talked to me about Javan and why their relationship didn’t work, the more I realised she didn’t have feelings for him. I felt comfortable and I started to open up about my relationship with Javan- just as you would with any girlfriend. It was impossible not to like her.”
Soon after that, the women began arranging double dates with Javan and Emily’s partner Euros, who she’s been in a relationship with for the last four years.
“Euros was fine with my friendship with Kaylee and mixing with Javan because we have a daughter together. I reassured him I didn’t have any feelings for Javan romantically,” Emily said. “He and Javan got on really well when we were all together.”
Kaylee has even grown so close to her partner’s ex that she nominated Emily has her birthing partner when she gave birth to Marcellus, and confides in her if she ever has arguments with Javan.
“I know I can confide in Emily about anything. I even talk to her about mine and Javan’s sex life. It might seem odd but she’s like a sister. It never feels weird,” Kaylee said.
“Javan was away with rugby when I went into labour and because the birth was quick, Emily was there when Marcellus was born. She had Javan on face time so he could watch.
“Javan jokes that Emily has ‘stolen’ me from him because we spend so much time together. If we’re not on the phone we are round at each other’s houses and we walk in without asking because we’re so close. We even have matching pyjamas which we’ll probably wear on Christmas Day.”
Emily added: “If Emily and Javan have a row I’ll drive round to their house and pick her up. It’s never weird when she talks about Javan because we just weren’t right for each other and clashed.
“Now, I’m always on Kaylee’s side when they have a fall out. Javan doesn’t feel like my ex anymore and I’m happy he’s found someone he’s happy with and is like a second mum to Nevaeh.”
Last Christmas, Javan brought up the suggestion that the two families spend the holiday together at his and Kaylee’s house, as a solution to the annual debate over where Nevaeh would spend the day, and they all agreed it just “made sense.”
“It made sense that we all spend Christmas together so we could both see Nevaeh and neither of us was missing out. It was an amazing day and Euros got along really well with Javan. Javan cooked last year too so he’s pulled the short straw again,” Emily said.
“It will be even better this year with our two new additions to the family, Dottie and Marcellus. People might think our set up is strange but it’s completely normal for us and we wouldn’t change it.”