“Everybody Fights: So Why Not Get Better At It?” by Kim and Penn Holderness; published March 30, 2021.
You may know them for their famous videos parading around in Christmas attire and sweat pants, but Kim and Penn Holderness are so much more than just a funny song or skit on Facebook.
The couple, along with their two children, came into the public’s eye in 2013 when they released a parody of Will Smith’s “Miami” titled “XMAS Jammies,” a video that was intended to be a digital Christmas card. The video went viral on YouTube, garnering 15 million views in one week, and the Holderness family was an instant hit.
Ever since, Kim and Penn have kept America entertained with Facebook and YouTube videos, mainly based on parodying hit songs into relatable family and couple situations. They also have a podcast (Holderness Family Podcast), and have been featured on numerous news and talk shows. Thanks to their combined 25-years in the television journalism industry, they had the skills and mindset to ditch traditional broadcasting means and turn to the digital age that has continued to grow in popularity.
It might surprise you to find, therefore, that the Holderness’ decided to revert back to traditional industries for one project: a book. Inspired by their audience often commenting on what a “perfect couple” Kim and Penn seem to be, their book, titled “Everybody Fights: So Why Not Get Better At It?,” steps away from the funny skits and parodies to show their audience that they are, in fact, a normal couple that fights just like everyone else. “Everybody Fights” is a guide to help any couple navigate through the top ten most common relationship fights and how to overcome them.
Having been married for 16 years, the Holderness’ definitely have the experience to showcase their fights and how they were able to work through them. But they didn’t rely on just their experience; their marriage coach and church pastor, Dr. Christopher Edmonson, joined them in their feat of describing their most common battles and what they learned from them in order to grow and nurture their relationship.
What I really liked about their book is how much it reminds me of their podcast. On the Holderness Family Podcast, they have a lot of discussions on their own marriage, as well as bringing in experts to discuss real family and life topics and challenges they face that are the same as anyone else. With everything they do, they are able to keep that sense of humor we all love about the Holderness', and their book has the same humor and wholesome content.
The book is divided into ten main chapters, each specifying a certain fight with both Kim and Penn’s differing points of views, and then their coming together in how they were able to overcome and learn from those arguments. They take the skills that they have learned from Dr. Edmondson, as well as what they’ve honed in on together, and share them with their audience in a simplistic way that leaves no room for misunderstanding.
What’s great about Kim and Penn is that they don’t shy away from their fights. They’ve accepted that fighting is a part of any healthy relationship, especially when the two people involved have many differences, as most couples do. What they’ve learned to do, and what they are able to share in their book, is how they take those fights and actually review them after the fact to see what they can take away from them.
“In a way that pruning a rosebush isn’t bad for the rosebush, conflict isn’t bad for a relationship. What’s bad is unhealthy, abusive conflict, or conflict that goes to waste because you haven’t examined it and learned from it. In a good fight, you don’t experience a win or a loss; you experience something new about yourself or your partner. Productive conflict hones, shapes, and refines your relationship. That’s why we have gotten so intentional about talking about our fights. We mine them for ways to improve how we talk to each other and to bring us closer together.” (“Everybody Fights,” page 6.)
For anyone in any type of relationship, whether it be marriage, dating, casually interested, with or without children, work conflicts, financial situations, etc.: this book is for you. It’s the book that gives you the advice that you KNOW that you need but don’t want to go to a therapist to get. Kim and Penn have done that for you; they’ve talked to the experts, they’ve opened themselves up and are sharing the most vulnerable parts of their marriage so that people like you and me can take their experiences and improve our own relationships and family matters.
“Everybody Fights” is available for sale now wherever books are sold; and if you enjoy watching the Holderness Family videos or listening to their podcasts, I highly recommend the audio version of this book, as it features all the great advice and anecdotes of the volume, but read by Kim and Penn themselves with lots of little humorous tidbits added in.