You may recognize the Holderness Family because of their “Christmas Jammies”. Remember that family who did a video for their Christmas card and just OWNED it?
So much so that their “Holiday greeting” became a viral video. They decided to keep owning it, with more music videos, TV work, and now a Podcast.
Kim and Penn Holderness talk real family life with chemistry and laughter and self-deprecation in such a way that, yes my thirteen-year-old listens in every week.
The Best of YouTube: The Holderness Family
My kids began watching Holderness Family videos with the Christmas Jammies but then got we all were captivated by one parody after another. Often our kids don’t know the original songs, but we do, and watching these 40-something parents give it their ALL over various real-life ups and downs throughout the year, keeps us laughing.
Why The Holderness Family Works
Raleigh-based Kim and Penn Holderness both have backgrounds in broadcast journalism. They also can sing and dance and laugh at themselves in the most entertaining way. They live their lives, pick up on the material and make a parody. Fan Favorites? “It’s All About that Baste, ” a Holderness Thanksgiving parody, and “Baby Got Class,” a Back to School parody, yes, to the music of Baby Got Back.
One of Penn’s recent most ridiculously ingenious works? An anthem about losing his phone...to the music of Frozen 2’s “Into the Unknown”. My favorite line: “There’s a thousand functions on my Apple Watch Thing, but the only thing I use it for is this annoying bing.”
Somehow, in the post-holiday mayhem, seeing a grown man run around outside a movie theater in a cheap Elsa wig belting out “Where is my phone?” well, it connected. I felt less alone.
Beyond the JAMMIES
But it’s the HolderMess, the Holderness Family Podcast that is building a loyal and subscribing listening community. Referring to the “non-Christmas Jammies us” they pull back the veil and show viewers the “why-can’t- my -socks be -on -the -counter -us”(Penn) and the “why- do -I -have -to- go -outside- and -talk -to- people- us” (Kim).
On their podcast, recorded in a makeshift studio in their home, and produced by friend Max Trujillo, the Holderness Family talks real-life with chemistry and laughter and self-deprecation in such a way that engages even my teenage daughter.
Kim and Penn discuss topics such as parenting their two children Lola and Penn Charles, dreams, weddings, the new year Well Body Reset, and marriage compromise. They bring on friends, experts, and experts who are friends.
More Than a Show
Even amidst original music and skits, Kim and Penn Holderness are honest and uplifting to each other, something I celebrate my daughter experiencing. They admit their weaknesses and the value of reaching out for help.
They are even modeling IRL marriage counseling. Often, they bring on their marriage coach and pastor to consult, or, umm… mediate. “Mature people ask for what they want and need” is a phrase we now use in our marriage and home. It’s from the Holderness Marriage Coach, and Pastor, Christopher Edmonston, and I thank him.
But Kim and Penn Holderness seem to be working for something more than our usual reality-earned celebrities. They recognize the work and sacrifice marriage and family both take – even at the cost, yes of fame and opportunity. They recently stopped producing the Holderness Family podcast every week in order to honor new family rhythms in regards to limitations on screen time.
As the Facebook Community mourned, it was a teaching moment and an encouraging one as a parent. Remember, I’m from the generation that watched Kate and Jon parent eight babies in front of the world and their marriage then burst open at the seams. The public eye has never been a friend to private relationships.
In This Together
Yet, I’ll be parenting four daughters through adolescence in the 2020s and the ever-changing digital landscape often paralyzes me. Parenting feels scary and marriage fragile in a culture that is complex and divided. Kim and Penn Holderness have opened up many of those conversations for us to engage in together. They’re doing it honestly and creatively. And what heals more than shared conversation? (Well, besides dancing to Justin Bieber parodies…)
(The author and her daughter recently met Kim and Penn Holderness at a live podcast recording. They discussed pressing issues like 7th-grade math and Penn’s idea to patent a new usable throw pillow: the Faux Pillow.)