A handy guide to all the free food at McDonald’s this month

Illustration for article titled A handy guide to all the free food at McDonald’s this month
Photo: McDonald’s

Like every other fast food brand in existence, McDonald’s really really really wants you to download its app. It wants to be inside your phone so Ronald can see you when you’re sleeping and know when you’re awake. If you really loved McDonald’s and appreciated all it has done for you, you’d download its app—consider it your Christmas gift to the Golden Arches. And in the spirit of joy, reciprocity, and data mining, McDonald’s has a gift for all its app lovers: special daily deals with festive holiday themes.

From now until Christmas Eve, McDonald’s will be featuring the favorite food of a different holiday character each day and will be giving that item away for free with a minimum $1 purchase. An any-size soft drink at Mickey D’s costs a buck plus tax, so open your heart and let yourself be filled with the Spirit of Christmas and the Specter of Saturated Fat. Here’s what you can look forward to over the next two holly jolly weeks:

December 15: The Abominable Snow Monster, understandably, has a giant appetite, and the 563 calories contained in a Big Mac will give him plenty of energy to murder elves for sport.

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December 16: Get a free Egg McMuffin courtesy of the Grinch, who, surprisingly, must be a morning person.

December 17: McDonald’s has come out in support of Die Hard being a Christmas movie, which it is. McDonald’s has also decided that the McDouble is John McClane’s favorite menu item, which is ridiculous. A resourceful cop like McClane would most definitely prefer McNuggets, which are easy to keep in your pockets while hunting down German terrorists. It is possible to cram a McDouble into some styles of pants, but you can’t easily pop one in your mouth while crawling through an HVAC system. If anyone has had different results, I would love to see photos!

December 18: Rudolph loves medium fries, which is appropriate since reindeer are herbivores that enjoy eating mosses, grasses, and the shoots and leaves of shrubs and trees. McDonald’s could have offered a free salad instead, but we all know nobody wants that.

December 19: Looks like Gremlins is at last getting its long overdue welcome into the Christmas movie canon, as McDonald’s 6-piece McNuggets day is in honor of the Mogwai that stole our hearts: Gizmo. Now that that’s finally settled, I can devote myself full-time to pushing for Batman Returns to be recognized as the holiday classic it is.

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December 20: Buddy the Elf is the only holiday character on this list that clearly specified his dietary preferences, so get ready for some free ho-ho-hotcakes with lots of artificial maple-syrup-style product.

December 21: It’s Ebenezer Scrooge day, so head to McDonald’s for a free cup of scalding hot black coffee to melt your icy heart. If you prefer to stay a cold, miserable bastard, you can order your free coffee iced.

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December 22: Frosty the Snowman’s favorite McDonald’s treat is the McFlurry, because it’s the only thing he can eat that will not melt his internal organs.

December 23: It’s Festivus, a holiday for Frank Costanza and the rest of us. Gather your family around the ol’ aluminum pole and enjoy a very sensible breakfast pastry an apple fritter, cinnamon roll, or blueberry muffin.

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December 24: Santa’s on his way, and the man with the bag expects cookies or else. Christmas Eve is extra special, because McDonald’s isn’t requiring any purchase whatsoever to get free chocolate chip cookies. The cookies are available in packs of two or three, because maybe there’s a limit to how many free cookies you can handle.

Allison Robicelli is The Takeout staff writer, a former professional chef, author of three books, and The People's Hot Pocket Princess. Questions about recipes/need cooking advice? Tweet @Robicellis.

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