'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus' got a modern update. Meet the family behind it.

"I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" is a classic Christmas favorite, but San Diego musicians Danielle LoPresti and Alicia Champion thought it could use a bit of an update.

So the couple, along with their son Xander Lucien, created a video featuring the three of them: a multiracial, same-sex, foster-adoptive family. The fun video is a great reminder that families aren't one-size-fits-all.


All GIFs via Danielle LoPresti and The Masses/YouTube.

The first time I watched this video, I wondered if it was a little too racy for my taste. But after I thought about it for a while, I was struck by the reality: This scene is just like what I see on TV and online every day.

I realized that the issue isn't that the video is racy. The issue is how uncommon it truly is to see a family comprised of two women and a child portrayed in the same way we portray straight couples with a child. The parents are about to have a little fun (if ya know what I mean) and they're interrupted by their kiddo who wakes up and gets out of bed. Real life as a parent. Funny. No big deal.

Why is it that two moms portrayed this way is an anomaly?

LoPresti and Champion came up with the idea last Christmas after they and their son watched Michael Bublé and Idina Menzel's viral video of "Baby It’s Cold Outside."

The video featured two cute kids acting and dancing to the song and the three of them loved it.

"Our son Lucian is a beautiful mix of African American, Mexican, and White, so we’re constantly introducing him to examples of beautiful, empowered kids who look like him, as well as men and women of color who are doing remarkable things in our communities," LoPresti told me in an email interview.

Immediately after they enjoyed the video as a family, they went to find another holiday video that represented a family that looked similar to theirs.

And they came up with nothing.

So they thought: Why not make our own?

After all, they are musicians and producers. The couple had the resources and skills to make their own version of the modern holiday video. (For real on the skills. Scroll down to watch and hear LoPresti's beautiful voice.)

"We wanted to create a peek into a typical American family that at the core is no different than any other, although many people still don’t know that. How can people know this when we still see so few families like ours represented?" Champion said.

They're just like any other family, and it would be nice to see more like them in the media.

And just like most other happy families, their story about meeting each other and forming their own family is sweet.

Image via Danielle LoPresti and The Masses/YouTube.

Champion, who was born in Singapore, and LoPresti, a San Diego native, met in 2003. "I was on stage finishing my sound check when Danielle’s band was loading in behind me. When I unplugged my guitar and turned toward the stage stairs, my eyes caught hers and I lost my breath," Champion told me. "I used to always think 'love at first sight' was a myth – I was proven wrong that day."

But for a while, it was just a friendship.

Lo Presti says they became fast friends, bonding over shared values and the dreams they had for independent musicians. "We started producing events together and after about eight months, I finally gave in to what had become Alicia’s relentless pursuit," she joked.

Champion said yes to LoPresti's proposal in May 2008, the same month that California began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. However, when Proposition 8 passed in November that year, the couple, who had been engaged for just six months, wasn't able to fulfill their plans to legally marry. They were finally married in May 2014, thanks to Prop 8 being ruled unconstitutional.

In the midst of the wait, something wonderful happened: They became moms. Lucian, who's 4 years old now, joined their family of two via open adoption when he was just one day old. "[T]here’s not a single day that goes by when I don’t remember how lucky we are to be his parents," LoPresti said. "He's the center of our universe."

Lucian loved starring alongside his moms in this fun, modern video:

So what can we do to ensure that videos like this become a lot more common?

Given the historic Supreme Court ruling this year on same-sex marriage, it might seem like we're all set on equality and acceptance. Unfortunately, that's not the case. I asked the couple what we can do to keep the momentum going.

Photo courtesy of Danielle LoPresti and Alicia Champion, used with permission.

For herself and Champion, LoPresti says it means they're creating work that is reflective of their lives. They also speak out against things that aren't right. "We embrace that injustice against anyone is injustice against everyone and we fold that resolve into our daily lives," she told me.

"Sometimes, the greatest activism we can do is finding the courage to simply be ourselves."

"For others, ‘doing the work’ can simply mean sharing things that help create connection and justice as opposed to separation and fear," LoPresti said. "I truly believe that sometimes the greatest activism we can do is finding the courage to simply be ourselves." She mentioned that their neighbors, with whom they've become close over the past several years, are Christian missionaries.

"Just the simple act of being who we are is showing them that we are a family just like they are, with the same concerns for our kids, the same indescribable love, the same hard days and sweet simple triumphs," she said.

For those of us who don't identify as part of the LBGTQ community, I think we can keep speaking out and sharing more examples of media featuring folks that don't fit the mold of the "traditional family" (and, hopefully, that phrase will become obsolete).

I'm an ally and an advocate, and even I had a moment of pause when I realized I'm not accustomed to seeing very many examples in everyday media featuring complete families like Champion and LoPresti's. Let's work to change that.

Pexels
True
Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Of the millions of Americans breathing a sigh of relief with the ushering in of a new president, one man has a particularly personal and professional reason to exhale.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has spent a good portion of his long, respected career preparing for a pandemic, and unfortunately, the worst one in 100 years hit under the worst possible administration. As part of Trump's Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Fauci did what he could to advise the president and share information with the public, but it's been clear for months that the job was made infinitely more difficult than it should have been by anti-science forces within the administration.

To his credit, Dr. Fauci remained politically neutral through it all this past year, totally in keeping with his consistently non-partisan, apolitical approach to his job. Even when the president badmouthed him, blocked him from testifying before the House, and kept him away from press briefings, Fauci took the high road, always keeping his commentary focused on the virus and refusing to step into the political fray.

But that doesn't mean working under those conditions wasn't occasionally insulting, frequently embarrassing, and endlessly frustrating.

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.