Whatever Happened To The Xmas Jammies Family?

In 2013, a then-unknown family burst onto the scene in a wildly popular viral video about #Xmas jammies. In the time since, what started as a fun alternative to the traditional holiday card has garnered a staggering 17 million views and launched the Holderness family (parents Kim and Penn and their two children, Lola and Penn Charles) into the realm of internet stardom. So it may not surprise you to learn that the social media influencers are still making videos today — but that's not all they're doing by a long shot. Find out what the busy crew of four has been up to lately. 

They parodied Sir-Mix-a-Lot — yes, really

How do you top a jingle about Xmas jammies? If you're the Holderness family, you follow it up with a parody about going back to school — set to the tune of rap master Sir Mix-a-Lot's early '90s cult hit, "Baby Got Back." Only, instead of rapping about derrieres, you spit lyrics about the glee of sending your kids back to school after a long summer off. Thus, "Baby Got Class!" was born. Swapping out Sir Mix-a-Lot's adult lyrics with rhymes about school buses and healthy lunches, the Holderness fam found another internet hit. 

"If there was one of those Facebook relationship status options for my children, at this point in August, I would choose 'needs to see other people.' On both sides — we literally need to see other people," matriarch Kim joked on the family blog, adding, "It's been an amazing summer, but for our children and ourselves, we are ready for the routine the school year brings."

Penn, aka Mr. Holderness, went into labor

Should you ever start to doubt their sheer creative genius, please refer to yet another viral video Kim and Penn created in the name of mass entertainment. In this far-funnier-than-it-should-be segment, Penn agrees to let a doctor use an electronic muscle contractor to simulate labor pains. It was all in the name of Mother's Day, which, c'mon, seems fair. In the nearly four-and-a-half minute clip that undoubtedly delighted mamas everywhere, Penn writhes in agony, telling Kim, "I just don't want you in my face right now, honestly. No, I'm serious. I need you out of my face and over there for, like, a second, if that's okay."

On the family blog, Kim explained the inspiration for the experience. "Our dear friends Page and Jake came for a visit. Jake is such a good sport," Kim elaborated. "I wanted to shoot a series of videos showing men taking part in activities traditionally experienced by women. Jake and Penn went to a Pure Barre class and got a blow out. Then Penn went solo for a bikini wax and he even experienced simulated labor pains." Of the ordeal, Penn shared in the following Mother's Day post, "I have an insane amount of respect for all that women do to usher all of us into the world." 

They went viral on Thanksgiving with a Meghan Trainor tune

Penn may not be allowed to interfere with the making of Thanksgiving dinner much, but he does take one responsibility very seriously: basting the turkey. "That's right! I do get to go in the kitchen every 30 minutes. [Kim] straps a timer around my neck and when it goes off, I take the turkey out as quickly as possible, and douse it with butter," Penn revealed on the family blog about his annual Turkey Day task. "I get this responsibility because (a) our oven is a perpetual smoke factory, and (b) our Turkey weighs about 659 pounds and you cant slide it out of the oven or the grill will tip over. You have to work the baster into the oven like you are playing 'Operation' and try not to burn your hands off (which I do anyway)." 

But hey, any finger burn casualties can be considered a worthy investment, since Penn's butter-basting-abilities launched the Holderness family back into the spotlight. For a special Thanksgiving treat, the playful clan created a video parody of Meghan Trainor's hit song, "All About That Bass." Their take? "All About the Baste" and, as you can guess, butter sets the tone for the Holderness fam's version.

They've devoted a whole channel to their viral videos

Given their uncanny talent for tapping into pop culture hilarity, it's not surprising the Holderness family decided to devote an entire YouTube channel to their viral video shenanigans. And, man, do they cover the gamut. 

Video uploads include everything from songs centered on Penn's sub-par holiday presents to parenting hacks in musical form. The channel — which has amassed over 80 million views — aims at creating "original music, parodies, and Vlogs to poke fun of themselves and celebrate the absurdity in circumstances most families face." Clearly, they're doing something right. Their videos have been featured on Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Mashable, the Today show, and more.  

They have a special section devoted to family vlogs

Although countless people try and fail to launch YouTube careers, the Holderness family has managed to find success. So it was really only a matter of time until they expanded their YouTube empire. For this cute crew, that meant adding a second channel for vlogs focused on family life. Instead of relying on musical spoofs (although Penn still ekes in some singing), the channel offers a behind-the-scenes look at the day-to-day activities of parents Penn and Kim and kids Lola and Penn Charles. 

Examples of the type of content curated on the second channel include a visit to Florida to see Winter the dolphin (from the film A Dolphin's Tale), watching a sea turtle release, and packing a bath tub full of over 2,000 water balloons. Because, life goals. 

They've experienced instant-celebrity growing pains

Sure, everyone dreams of becoming an instant celebrity to some extent. However, in an article she shared with Today, Kim proves that being thrust from civilian obscurity into the limelight isn't always a dream come true. 

The Holderness family matriarch says their rise to internet stardom came with some unwanted baggage: internet trolls. "Anonymous commenters can have their opinions on our parenting," she said. "They don't know us at all. AT. ALL." The occasional helicopter-parenting-commenter is the least of their worries, though. "Now onto those ruthless comments: I do have to say, first, most of the comments have been incredibly positive and supportive," Kim underscored before adding, "But there are a few zingers buried in there. I get it; we are putting ourselves out there and that means we are opening ourselves to the judgment of the anonymous Internet. I get it. Still, it doesn't make it sting less." 

Kim also confessed that the family has come close to quitting more than once, especially when they became overwhelmed and almost lost everything in the beginning. "We lost out on some great opportunities because we didn't have enough people in place to do the work," she said. "We quickly needed to hire a team to help handle the workload. This is the point when I wanted to curl up into a ball and wave the white flag. The stress of providing for other families, as well as ours, was (and continues to be) overwhelming."

Penn filmed a game show with Carlton, er, Alfonso Ribeiro

As part of a brand collaboration with Clorox, Penn got to film a sponsored game show called "What the Mess?" with none other than '90s Fresh Prince icon Alfonso Ribeiro. During a behind-the-scenes peek shared on the family's Instagram page, Penn can be seen getting pointers from Ribeiro on how to perfect the trademark "Carlton" moves. Although Penn probably won't be leaving his day job anytime soon for a career in interpretive movement, at least he got to enjoy some good-natured ribbing from Ribeiro. 

"Was a pleasure working with Alfonso Ribeiro on a shoot with @Clorox to launch new Clorox® Bleach₂ with CLOROMAX™ Technology. Alfonso was even kind enough to critique my 'Carlton' dance! Check out @Clorox on Facebook to check out the full video," Penn captioned a clip of the comical interaction

They've cultivated several social media sponsorships

Brand partnerships are the name of the game in social media today, and the Holderness family is striking while the iron is hot. Over the summer of 2017, they announced a partnership with Breyer's ice cream, captioning an Insta-shot of the kids by the pool, "We partnered with @breyers to create the perfect summer moment: wrinkled fingers and Natural Vanilla Ice Cream — made with fresh cream, sugar, and milk. What's your perfect summer moment? #ad #ItsSimple." The Holderness fam has similarly collaborated with Chase, HP, Nickelodeon and, of course, the aforementioned Clorox campaign with Alfonso Ribeiro.

They've turned down numerous other sponsorship opportunities

Even though the Holderness family enjoys numerous brand partnerships, Penn and Kim are careful to constantly cull the list of potential collaborators. If it doesn't align with the brand they've created for their family name, they simply don't accept the proposal. Specifically, Kim draws the line at ill-advised food pitches. 

"We've turned down a lot of work with junk food companies that reached out to us," Penn shared with the News & Observer. "Kim is very aware of what we're putting in our children's bodies, and she felt strongly about that."

They filmed a reality show

In addition to the social media sphere, the Holderness family carved out their own little corner of the television world. While it only had one season as of 2017, their reality show (aptly dubbed The Holderness Family
) debuted on the Up network and focused on their entrepreneurial endeavors. 

"We've been working with Figure 8 Films, a (Carrboro-based) production company that did The Duggers' show. They're still working out the details, but the network we're signing with will focus on watching our company at work, how we go about making the videos. They are interested in uplifting, positive entertainment. We aren't going to be the Kardashians," Penn hinted to the News & Observer. See for yourself — you can watch past episodes online now. 

They created a family board game

Is there anything more fun than family game night? If you ask the Holderness clan, the answer would likely be a resounding, "Nope!" Particularly in light of the fact that, in 2016, they achieved their long-held dream to bring a "Family Showdown" board game to fruition. Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, the family managed to raise an impressive $55,536 to create the dynamic, developmental-directed game. 

"Excuse me while we get verklempt. We signed (and Kim hugged) some of the 'Family Showdown' games shipping out today," an emotional Penn posted on Instagram. "There is a whole team of people that have worked so hard to make this dream of a board game come true. Our little family is overwhelmed with the support shown through the Kickstarter campaign and the love you show us every single day. It's always been a dream to create a board game... and now we are sending one out into the world. Thank you, thank you, thank you."