Travis Kelce didn’t hold back while talking about his 2023 Christmas during the December 29 bonus episode of his “New Heights” podcast. “[It was the] f–king worst,” he told his brother, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, recalling the Kansas City Chiefs’ loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. “I’ve had better.”
Though the NFL tight end, 34, later insisted his holiday was saved “by good Christmas cheer and good people,” a source exclusively tells Life & Style Travis’ mood put a real damper on the festivities — and led to his first fight with his girlfriend of five months, Taylor Swift, also 34. (Taylor attended Travis’ Christmas Day game along with her parents and brother and his girlfriend; Travis’ dad, Ed, was also in attendance.)
“The game pretty much ruined Taylor and Travis’ holidays,” says the source. “Travis wasn’t himself for days after. He snapped at Taylor and they had their first fight. He apologized after but Taylor definitely felt hurt and confused. It was rough.”
Cracks are clearly beginning to show in the couple’s fairy-tale romance. The source says Taylor is starting to understand the challenges that go along with dating a high-profile athlete. “This is all very new for Taylor,” says the source, noting that the “Karma” singer asked her new pal — and fellow WAG — Brittany Mahomes (who’s married to Travis’ QB, Patrick Mahomes) for advice.
“Brittany told Taylor to let Travis lick his wounds, but it wasn’t easy.” The source says Taylor was a “nervous wreck” before Travis’ New Year’s Day game (the Chiefs won the January 1 match-up and Taylor and Travis were photographed sharing a kiss at a New Year’s Eve party as the clock struck midnight) — and was even contemplating cutting her holiday visit short. “The idea of Travis losing again and having it ruin their New Year’s was so stressful.”
Constant travel is also causing tension. While Travis has flown to see Taylor at her New York City home and took in her mid-November performance in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Taylor’s been the one racking up the most frequent-flyer miles. “It’s hard to even keep up with how many flights Taylor has taken to Kansas City to see Travis,” says the source.
In a newly resurfaced interview from 2012, a young Taylor says she could envision herself in a long-distance relationship where she’s “flying to see him and flying him places to see [me].” But in reality “it’s starting to take a toll on her,” says the source. “She’s the one bending over backward and people are urging her to start focusing on herself more.”
They’re clashing over work commitments, too. “Over the holiday, all Travis wanted to do was focus on football,” explains the source. A teary-eyed Taylor “had to take a backseat,” the source says, “which was really tough. When it comes down to it, the game is still his No. 1 priority and that became crystal clear for Taylor.” It goes both ways, says the source. “Things get heated between them at times over scheduling because they’re both so incredibly busy and they’re both so dedicated to their careers. As much as Taylor can be a fool for love, she never lets her work suffer.”
The Fame Game
According to the source, a brewing family feud is causing trouble as well. “Taylor hasn’t had the best reception from Jason and his wife,” the source reveals. During a late 2023 interview, Kylie Kelce made what some perceived to be a dig at Taylor when she said being in the spotlight is “not particularly my cup of tea.” Says the source: “Taylor took that personally and since then it’s been very awkward.”
The source says Taylor’s friends think Jason and Kylie are jealous of Taylor and how much attention she and the 6-foot-5 athlete are receiving. “Taylor understands that it can be exhausting, but she can’t help that everything she does becomes front-page news.”
Then there are new concerns that Travis has been using Taylor for fame — a fear that was reinforced by a recent New York Times article about Travis’ managers’ plans to make him “as famous as” Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. “Taylor was mortified,” says the source. “She doesn’t believe Travis is dating her to get more famous, but she hates that it’s given people ammunition to use against them. Travis hasn’t lost any sleep over it, but it was another stressful situation for their relationship, which really hasn’t been tested until now.”
Friends are hoping the pair can work through their growing pains. (The source says one recent bright spot was Travis’ Christmas gift for Taylor: a pair of matching pajamas that cost $45 and featured the image of Taylor’s beloved cat, Olivia. “It showed that he knows the real Taylor and had been paying attention, which is good.”) Especially as Taylor gears up for the next leg of her Eras Tour, which kicks off in Tokyo on February 7.
“If Travis’ team goes to the Super Bowl then no doubt it will be Taylor making the trip to support him, even if it means flying across the world to be there,” says the source. “But once his season is done their agreement is that he’ll start putting in the miles.”