How Derek Hough and Hayley Erbert Celebrated Christmas Amid Her Skull Surgery Recovery

Hayley Erbert Hough Reflects on "Life Changing" 2023

Derek Hough and Hayley Erbert are feeling merry and bright. 

How Derek Hough and Hayley Erbert Celebrated Christmas Amid Her Skull Surgery Recovery

Nearly two weeks after Hayley underwent emergency skull surgery, she and the Dancing With the Stars judge celebrated their first Christmas together as a married couple. 

"Cherishing the greatest gift of all. The precious gift of life and the love we share," they wrote in a joint Instagram. "Hold your loved ones close and treasure every moment."

And they're taking their own advice. In their snap, the newlyweds—who said "I do" in August—were seen sharing a sweet kiss while cuddled up under the tree. As they wrote, "Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!"

It's a moment they weren't sure they would get to share. After all, following their Dec. 6 Symphony of Dance tour performance in Washington, D.C., Hayley became disoriented and was taken to the hospital. There, she was diagnosed with a cranial hematoma from a burst blood vessel and, during surgery, part of her skull was removed to ease pressure on her brain.

photosDerek Hough & Hayley Erbert: Romance Rewind

"While this isn't the holiday season either of us envisioned, it's one that we're incredibly grateful to have," Hough wrote on Instagram Dec. 15, while detailing the "life-threatening" moment that turned their worlds upside down. "We look forward to cherishing these moments with a deeper appreciation for life and the people in it."

Instagram/Derek Hough

A successful follow-up surgery lifted their spirits even more.

"This surgery marks a significant milestone in my wife's recovery journey, and your support has played a crucial role in getting us here," the 38-year-old shared Dec. 21. "We are filled with hope and optimism for the future, knowing she is on the path to a full recovery, surrounded by such a loving community…We love you."

For more of that love, read on to see how all your favorite stars are ringing in the holiday season…

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photosView More Photos From Holidays 2023: Celebs Celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and More

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