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How To Have A Really Sweet 'N Sexy Christmas. Long Distance.

If you and yours are apart this Christmas, these 10 tips will bring you closer together.

Love & Relationships

Here's something that could quite possibly be your "something new" for the day. Were you aware that approximately 28 million people in the United States alone are currently in a long-distance relationship? Then, when you factor in the 2020 bomb of the year that is COVID-19 into that lil' statistic—unless you were already married or living with your partner before it happened, if you're currently seeing someone, there's a pretty good chance that you are in a long-distance situation, even if it's merely by circumstantial default. Between the call to social distance, possibly feeling leery about traveling, possibly not having enough coins to go anywhere (even if you wanted to) or maybe even only being a quick road trip away and yet still not feeling like now is the time to cuddle up—you might be tempted to think that this will be the worst Christmas…ever.

I'm not gonna lie to you. There really is no substitute for being boo'ed up underneath somebody's mistletoe on Christmas morning. Yet that doesn't mean that you still can't make your long-distance relationship extra sweet, sexy and memorable this year. You just need to put a plan together. I'm hoping that the following 10 tips can totally help you out.

1. Send Each Other a Care Package (on the Same Day)

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I don't care how old someone is, if there's one thing virtually everyone likes to receive in the mail, it's a care package. So, let's start with that. If for, whatever the reason this year, you and yours cannot be together, make the mutual decision that you both will send each other a customized care package that will be mailed off on the same day (so that hopefully, you'll both receive it at the same time); then make the commitment to not open either one until Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. While I think that surprising each other will make this tip extra fun, if you're looking for some ideas of what should go in said packages, I've got a few.

  • Homemade cookies
  • New PJs
  • A handwritten letter
  • Soy-scented candles
  • Favorite smell-good (yours or his)
  • For him, beard care products (like the Black-owned company Fetti Says)
  • Personalized jewelry
  • A mug with a sweet message or inside joke on it
  • Sexy undies
  • New sheets (more on that in a sec)
  • Some "Wow, I didn't see that coming" photo prints

2. Spray One’s Bedding with the Other’s “Signature Scent”

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Speaking of perfumes and colognes, something that can make waking up and going to sleep a little bit easier right through here is to sprinkle some of your partner's favorite scent all over your bedding. If that's something you both are totally down to do, discuss what the scent is and then send each other an online gift card (or CashApp each other a few bucks), so that you can run into the closest department store and cop some. You'll love spending a few extra minutes in bed, each and every night, after you do. (Byrdie has a list of Black-owned fragrance brands here.)

3. Stuff Each Other’s Stocking…Differently

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Another thing that can go inside of your care package is a stocking that has your partner's name or pet name on it. Companies like Personalization Mall or Etsy both offer ones that will be more than happy to make this happen for you. Then, once yours is ready to "stuff", put a sex toy in it; one that the two of you can enjoy together, the next time the two of you are together. As far as what's considered to be a great sex toy for you and your partner, earlier this year, Self published a piece entitled, "The Best Sex Toys for Couples, According to Sex Educators".

And what if he wishes that the two of you were together to test the toy out on December 25? Well, who doesn't know that men are stimulated visually? That said, perform a little fellatio tease for him with it. Or, make the request that he pick up something for you like the We-Melt Clitoral Stimulator ahead of time. What's so special about it? It comes with an app that your partner can use to control how the toy works; yes, even all the way from his house. (Girrrl…) Pretty sure it goes without saying that you'll need to Facetime or to use an app like Google Hangout (if you're an Android kind of gal), so that he can take in the full visual effect.

4. Enjoy Breakfast in Bed (on Zoom)

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I recently read an article about how the company of the year is Zoom. C'mon, is anyone even a little bit surprised by this? I mean, who wasn't on it this year, for some reason, at some point (my godchild and I would watch movies together that way). Anyway, something that you can do to make it work for you this coming Christmas Day is for you and your boo to enjoy breakfast in bed together on it. Again, you can talk on Facetime (or Google Hangout) while listening to Christmas music. Then, you can bring your laptop into each other's bedrooms and enjoy what you prepared together on a bigger screen with the help of the Zoom app. One way to feel extra close to one another is to discuss what your favorite Christmas breakfast was as a kid, so that each of you can prepare that "in honor" of the other (like, if his were chocolate chip pancakes, you eat that and if yours was French toast, he eats that). Or, you can go really bold with the calories and eat both at the same time. #whyTFnot

5. Have Each Other’s Favorite Meal Delivered

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I don't know anyone who wants to spend their entire Christmas Day in the kitchen. So, beyond breakfast, do your best to stay outta there. When it comes to lunch and/or dinner, have each other's favorite meals (from each other's favorite restaurant) delivered instead. As far as what's open on December 25, Delish published a piece entitled, "26 Fast Food Chains And Restaurants Open On Christmas This Year". Or, if you'd prefer something that is a little more upscale, go to your favorite search engine and put "restaurants that will be open on Christmas near me" followed by "2020" to see what's up on the local tip. By the way, please make sure to give at least a 25 percent tip to your delivery person (because folks have to work on Christmas in order for you to pull this off). Oh, and if you're leery about getting takeout (you know, due to the pandemic 'n all), check out "10 Safety Practices For Ordering Takeout (During A Pandemic)" for some helpful hacks. They can help to put your mind at ease.

6. Watch a Christmas Movie Together with an App

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Even though I personally don't observe holidays (and no, I am not a Jehovah's Witness), something that I do find to be…precious about this time of year is the syrupy sweet holiday films that incessantly come on the tube (for instance, Merry Liddle Christmas Wedding starring Kelly Rowland was cute and I don't know anyone who hasn't come to adore Jingle Jangle on Netflix).

If you and yours enjoy watching movies together, don't let a little distance keep that from happening. Apps like Together Tube make it easy for the two of you to rent a movie on YouTube (or listen to a playlist) together while sharing a screen. You can share a screen on Zoom as well. And, if you want to take a walk down memory lane, as far as classic Black Christmas movies go, you can get a few suggestions here, here and here.

7. Give Each Other a Friendship Bracelet. Or a Promise Ring.

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If your relationship is new or it hasn't reached the "something super sparkly" portion of the program yet, that doesn't mean the two of you can't give each other a token of your affection that you can wear all of the time. At the beginning stages, friendship bracelets are adorably thoughtful presents. If the commitment is more serious than that, you and he can start rocking promise rings (if you're both on the same page, that is). Most jewelry stores carry his and her promise rings. Etsy has an affordable collection of them as well.

8. Plan a Vacation Together

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Sure, you're physically apart right now, but sis, it won't be that way forever. At some point during the day, while that romantic Christmas music is playing the background, talk about planning a getaway in the upcoming year. As I was recently reading up on what the hot travel trends would be in 2021, some of them included renting upgraded cabins and taking road trips.

As you wait to do one of those things, you know what else is pretty cool? Going on a virtual trip together. Whether it's The Great Wall of China, The Great Pyramid of Giza or some place else, there are all kinds of online tours that you can view. And the real awesome thing about this is a ton of them are absolutely free. You can check out 60 of 'em right here.

9. Sext. Safely.

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A perfect way to end your Christmas Day with your partner is to engage in some sexting—and erotic videoing. Whether it's talking about all of the things that the two of you would do to each other if you were in the same room or enticing one another with a "Santa Baby" strip tease, if you want to go all in, but you're nervous about what could possibly happen on Al Gore's internet, no worries; there are apps that can totally put your mind at ease. Dust is an app where you can post whatever, knowing that it will disappear in 24 hours. Wickr is an encrypted app that takes privacy to a whole 'nother level. Confide professes to be a totally "screenshot-free" app. So why not, "take it there"—in the spirit of being super sexy this Christmas?

10. Create a Love & Sex Bucket List for the New Year

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Fail to plan, plan to fail. Even though 2020 absolutely did not go as most of us wanted it to, one of the best ways to let your partner know that your relationship is still a top priority is to be intentional about setting goals for the new year. While no one wants to feel like they are doing any mental heavy lifting on Christmas, taking out a little time to plan some dates, discuss each other's love languages (including sex love languages) and put a sex bucket list together can definitely keep the spark going until the two of you can be together again.

This holiday season has been "different" for us all. But don't let COVID-19's crazy ass keep you from celebrating your relationship this Christmas. Be creative. Be sexy. Have fun. It's easier to do than you think. Even from a distance.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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