McDonald's New Mariah Carey Menu Has A Surprising Holiday Twist

If you're a fan of Christmas music or have ever been inside a shopping mall during November and December, you've probably heard Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" (and inadvertently learned all the words). While Carey's work is prolific, this particular 1994 song stands out, with fans streaming it earlier in the holiday season each year, reports NBC. Carey is basically synonymous with Christmas, and McDonald's apparently agrees.

What does an undeniably catchy Christmas song have to do with McDonald's? The fast food giant is no stranger to celebrity collaborations, having done meal promotions with artists such as BTS and Saweetie, per Food & Wine. Although the brand's most recent collaboration with Carey is similar, it differs in two very important ways: It's not just one special meal, but a 12-day event, and it's all free — well, technically, if you follow certain instructions. Starting December 13, the holiday-exclusive Mariah Menu will offer patrons a variety of free McDonald's goodies in a sort of edible advent calendar. Here's what you need to know to score all 12 treats and add a little Mariah Carey magic to your holiday season. 

A dozen days of free McDonald's menu items

While some advent calendars have toys or chocolates to mark each day leading up to December 25, the new Mariah Menu puts a McDonald's twist on the traditional countdown. Rather than 12 days of knick-knacks, you'll find a dozen days of free cheeseburgers, McNuggets, pancakes, and cookies, reports CNN. But the holiday fun doesn't stop at free food: All Mariah Menu items will be served in exclusive holiday-themed bags, and on December 17, the company will be doing a cheeseburger giveaway in honor of Carey's favorite McDonald's order (via Food & Wine). 

There is a small catch to the "free food" part of the promotion, as you can't simply go to McDonald's and ask for a Mariah Menu item without paying. Instead, you'll need to order a minimum purchase of $1 on the McDonald's app to be eligible for the promotion. Other than that, just keep an eye on the menu calendar between December 13 and 24 to see which days you're most excited to take a trip to the drive-thru.