Because as Sister Wives fans see in E! News' exclusive sneak peek at the Sept. 10 episode, the two spent the holiday apart.
Janelle celebrated Christmas with her and Kody's kids at a vacation rental while he marked the occasion at home with wife Robyn Brown and their children.
"I feel overwhelming relief," Janelle shared about the separate festivities, "but there is a little bit of a sadness that Kody is not showing up for his kids—not Savanah."
"For the last 30 years, I've celebrated Christmas as a family," she continued. "[I] miss the big Christmas. It was fun. But this feels good. This feels peaceful. This feels joyful."
Janelle and Kody's split celebrations came shortly after they'd spent Thanksgiving apart. The duo later had a heated argument about the state of their relationship and divided family, with Kody noting he didn't expect to see her at Christmas.
"I kinda told the kids their dad and I had had a really bad fight that we probably weren't coming back from," Janelle said. "My kids weren't surprised. They've observed our relationship for several years and thought maybe it was time for me to get something, do something different—find something better."
Janelle and Kody share six of his 18 children: Logan, Madison, Hunter, Garrison, Gabriel and Savanah. Last season, viewers watched Kody and his sons Garrison and Gabriel grow apart, including over his COVID-19 protocols, and Kody confirmed on the Sister Wives: One on One special that he's "estranged" from them.
As for how the kids felt about celebrating Christmas with Janelle and without Kody?
"I thought the Christmas we did with just mom and mom's kids was very quiet," Savanah said in the teaser for the upcoming episode. "But it was honestly, in my opinion, kind of pleasant. It was good."
And Gabriel agreed. "I went into it thinking it would be a little bit hard to swallow that nobody was there," he said, "but I actually found myself enjoying it a lot."
Meanwhile, back at Kody's house, he opened presents with Robyn and their kids. Although, she wasn't thrilled about the scooters he gave the children.
"I think they're dangerous," Robyn said. "I kind of wonder if Kody's trying to compensate with these bikes instead of the kids focusing on the fact that family isn't all together. He's going, 'Look! Look at this pretty cool thing over here.' Compensate for what it is we're actually missing here."
Janelle and Kody confirmed on the Sister Wives: One on One special—which premiered in December—that they'd separated. However, their relationship wasn't the only one to come to an end. Kody and Christine also announced their breakup in November 2021, and Meri and Kody confirmed their split in January 2023. (While Kody is legally married to Robyn, he previously considered himself also spiritually married to Janelle, Meri and Christine).
Sister Wives airs Sundays at 10 p.m. EST on TLC.