Bryton James, Christel Khalil"The Young and the Restless" Set CBS television CityLos Angeles10/15/21© Howard Wise/jpistudios.com310-657-9661

Howard Wise/JPI

In the wee hours of December 1, the Emmy winner celebrated birthday girl Christel Khalil so beautifully that he all but defined “better late than never.” Much better, in fact.

Even if you only think about the years that they’ve spent as siblings on The Young and the Restless, you know that Bryton James and Christel Khalil have basically grown up together. But the castmates actually go back even further than that.

More: Thirty years of Michael Baldwin in 10 minutes [VIDEO]

In 1996, Khalil made a guest appearance on Family Matters, the TGIF sitcom that made Jamea a child star. So they’ve been in one another’s lives for a quarter of a century!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Bryton James (@brytonejames)

As such, there was no way he was going to let her November 30 birthday go by without paying homage to the actress who is family on screen and is like it off. So he sent a sweet shout-out “to the one who’s had my back from day one.

“I know I’m a day late,” added Devon’s portrayer, “but my best friend deserves to be celebrated every day.”

We can wholeheartedly second that emotion. As Lily’s life continues to be spun ’round and ’round like a load of laundry in the rinse cycle — Tuesday’s Young & Restless recap has the deets — James concluded his message thusly: “I love, appreciate and couldn’t be more proud of the woman you are. Happy birthday!”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Bryton James (@brytonejames)

Om this special occasion — or shortly after it, technically — stop off at the below photo gallery to climb the whole Winters family tree.