Kelly Tyko

McDonald’s to give away free Christmas-themed meals through Dec. 25McDonald’s is giving you an early holiday present. Learn how to get it.USA TODAYMcDonald’s 11 days of holiday deals ends Thursday with Santa Claus himself.Since Dec. 14, the fast-food giant featured iconic holiday characters including Frosty the Snowman and Buddy the Elf, and gave away the characters’ favorite menu items with daily deals on its app.But unlike the other days’ deals that required a $1 minimum purchase, Thursday’s special is a true freebie.For Christmas Eve, McDonald’s giving away soft-baked cookies – either a two-pack or three-pack of chocolate chip cookies – with an offer on its mobile app. No purchase is required but McDonald’s says a glass of milk is not included.Christmas Eve holiday shopping: When Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Costco and other stores close ThursdayWhat’s open Christmas Day 2020?: CVS, Starbucks, McDonald’s and 7-Eleven make the list but Walmart is closedHighlighting the holiday characters’ favorite menu items follows McDonald’s collaborations with musicians Travis Scott and J Balvin, who had their favorite meals available at restaurants for a limited time.Taco Bell also brings back its Nacho Fries beginning Christmas Eve for a limited time.Earlier this month, McDonald’s brought back the McRib, its iconic barbecue sandwich with a cult-like following for a limited time.Some McDonald’s will be open Christmas. Find open locations on the chain’s app or website.Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

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