'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.

We know that mammals feed their young with milk from their own bodies, and we know that whales are mammals. But the logistics of how some whales make breastfeeding happen has been a bit of a mystery for scientists. Such has been the case with sperm whales.

Sperm whales are uniquely shaped, with humongous, block-shaped heads that house the largest brains in the animal world. Like other cetaceans, sperm whale babies rely on their mother's milk for sustenance in their first year or two. And also like other cetaceans, a sperm whale mama's nipple is inverted—it doesn't stick out from her body like many mammals, but rather is hidden inside a mammary slit.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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