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McDonald's giving away free food – from cheeseburgers to coffee – with app purchases now through Christmas Eve


Kelly Tyko
USA TODAY


McDonald's is giving away early holiday gifts.

Starting Monday and through Dec. 24, the fast-food chain is featuring iconic holiday characters' favorite menu items and will give them away for free with a $1 minimum purchase. The McDonald's mobile app is needed to get the 11 days of daily deals.

Characters include Frosty the Snowman, whose favorite item is a McFlurry; Buddy the Elf, who prefers syrupy Hotcakes; The Grinch with an Egg McMuffin and Seinfeld’s Frank Costanza with a Festivus freebie on Dec. 23.

The daily app deals end on Christmas Eve with free chocolate chip cookies in honor of Santa Claus. The company says this day’s deal is the only that doesn’t require a $1 purchase. 

"What better way to celebrate and get into the holiday spirit than with free McDonald’s menu favorites for everyone including Rudolph, the Abominable Snow Monster and yes, even Scrooge,” McDonald’s U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Morgan Flatley said in a news release.

The characters' favorite menu items follow special collaborations with musicians Travis Scott and J Balvin, who had their favorite meals available at restaurants for a limited time.

“These beloved holiday characters are the latest icons to have their favorite menu items featured at participating restaurants nationwide,” McDonald’s said in the release, adding daily in-app deals will celebrate the go-to orders of characters from classic holiday movies like Christmas Vacation, Gremlins as well as Die Hard, which it emphasizes “is a holiday movie.”

Earlier this month, McDonald's brought back the McRib, its iconic barbecue sandwich with a cult-like following.

McDonald's free Daily Deals calendar

The freebies will be available at participating locations and each is valid one time per day with a $1 minimum purchase on its mobile app. More details will be available on the app.

  • Dec. 14: The Griswolds, free Double Cheeseburger
  • Dec. 15: The Abominable Snowonster, free Big Mac
  • Dec. 16: The Grinch, free Egg McMuffin
  • Dec. 17: John McClane, free McDouble
  • Dec. 18: Rudolph, free medium Fry
  • Dec. 19: Gizmo, free 6-piece McNuggets
  • Dec. 20: Buddy the Elf, free Hotcakes
  • Dec. 21: Scrooge, free any size Hot or Iced Coffee
  • Dec. 22: Frosty the Snowman, free any size McFlurry
  • Dec. 23: Frank Costanza and the rest of us, free Bakery Item (Apple Fritter, Cinnamon Roll, Blueberry Muffin)
  • Dec. 24: Santa, free 2-pack or 3-pack Chocolate Chip Cookies (No minimum purchase required)
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko