What is Christmas Day Like in Prison?

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Some inmates are given another chance to make things right with their loved ones. They get an opportunity to spend time with their family during Christmas. Regardless, most of the inmates will not see their family’s faces during this time. So why not devote quality time with their family? Why not take advantage of every last minute before being locked up all year long?

Those inmates who had been convicted for violent felonies or those serving life sentences participated less than other groups. No matter how hard they try, the prison won’t allow them to experience true freedom with their families. However, they get a chance to participate in sport and recreational activities offered at the prison.

Some inmates have been locked up most of their lives, dealing with many things, including loneliness, boredom, depression, anxiety, anger, frustration, guilt, shame, regret, remorse, embarrassment, humiliation, and rejection. However, during Christmas, the prison staff provides insight into what recreation activities inmates may get involved in.

Can You Visit Inmates on Christmas Day?

The last time some inmates saw their loved ones could be when they left for prison. During Christmas, you might get a chance to reunite with the inmate, but you have to be a relative or friend of the prisoner. If they are not allowed visitors, then it is because their family or the inmate has asked that no one should visit them, including friends and relatives.

It is also possible for people who used to work with prisoners to visit them if they wish. However, there may be restrictions as to how long these visits last. You will need to fill out an application form that asks your name, address, date of birth, occupation, marital status.

The correctional officer at the reception will ask you some questions regarding whether you have had any previous convictions and whether you have been convicted before. They will check your details against their records and give you a visitor’s pass. Once inside, it would be best to tell the guard where you would like to see the inmate. The officer will take you through security checks and show you the visiting room.

There will be other families waiting to meet their loved ones. The staff member will take your contact information and let you know when your turn arrives. Hand over all forms and documents of the visit and receive back the completed paperwork.

How Much Do Meals Cost?

The meals in prison aren’t free. Volunteers usually donate their time and money to help feed inmates. Prisoners do not pay anything towards their visits, considering the situations they are in. Visitors must cover the costs themselves. This means you need to pay for transport, food, and drinks during the visit. In addition, you have to pay for telephone calls made from outside the prison.

Some prisons do not provide meals during weekends or holidays. However, inmates may buy food items such as milk, bread, cereal, peanut butter, etc., which are available at the kiosk. They can buy using the commissary, or their loved ones can pay for the meals. The cost of meals varies depending on what you order and how much food they have to work with.

How Do You Send an Inmate a Card?

If the inmate is in a county jail or prison facility and not the state penitentiary, then you cannot visit them on that holiday. The alternative is you can send your inmate a card. Inmate cards should only contain personal messages of love and support. It’s best to avoid sending any greeting cards because these items could be considered contraband.

You can write your message directly onto an envelope using a pen or pencil. Make sure you use black ink so that it doesn’t show through the paper. Be careful when writing letters to inmates because they often read everything that comes into their hands. When you send cards too, don’t forget to include pictures of your family members, especially kids.

Do Prisoners Go Home for Christmas?

Prisoners are allowed out of prison to go home as part of their Christmas celebration to see their family and friends. However, they are not allowed out of prison after new year’s eve, so it is a long time before they get back into their cell again.

Although, it might depend upon how far away your relatives live from the prison. If they live close by, then it shouldn’t matter too much. So even though it’s home for the prisoner, it is just another building inside the prison walls.

Some prisoners aren’t allowed to leave the prison during the Christmas period. That’s why they try to make contact with their loved ones through letters and phone calls. Since they cannot visit their families outside the prison, they usually spend the whole Christmas Day alone. They stay connected with their families through telephone or video visitation, emailing, writing letters, and sending postcards.

There are many reasons as to why inmates are not allowed to go home for Christmas, such as:

  • Most jails and prisons are located in urban areas, and cities tend to be quite busy over the holidays.
  • The vast majority of prisoners are serving sentences of less than a year. Therefore, they won’t be eligible for parole until next summer.
  • Earlier the federal government had passed legislation prohibiting convicted offenders from receiving certain types of mail. So prisoners could not send cards, packages, and money orders to anyone other than immediate family members.

What Do Inmates Do for Christmas?

In some facilities, inmates can decorate their cells with various items such as lights or hang stockings. Some inmates may use the time to write letters, others play cards or board games, and some inmates relax in their cells. The most popular item is probably candy bars which staff members give out on December 25th. Some correctional facilities have an inmate-run gift shop that sells homemade items such as soap, candles, candy canes, and more.

The gifts may be purchased by family members who visit them in prison. Prisoners also receive packages of food that local churches and other volunteers donate. Other gifts include small toys such as stuffed animals, books, and puzzles.

Staff members also bring food into the prison so that prisoners can share it among themselves. Many prisoners volunteer at soup kitchens during the Christmas holiday season.

Can Christmas Be Stressful in Prison?

Christmas is a time of joy and happiness for inmates and their loved ones. Besides, it can be a very stressful period as well. For some, the stress comes from being away from their families or loved ones during this holiday season. Others may feel stressed because they cannot spend quality time with family members due to work schedules or other commitments.

Still, others might have been incarcerated at one point in their lives and now find themselves back behind bars again. The holidays and weekends bring with them many challenges that may not have existed before incarceration. If you don’t get up early enough to make arrangements for holiday visits, then you won’t see your family until after New Year’s Day. And even when you do manage to arrange a visit, there might still be complications such as long lines and security checks, which could cause delays.

Regardless of why you’re feeling stressed out about Christmas, there’s no need to worry. You don’t have to go through the holiday alone. Instead, you can take advantage of this great day by enjoying yourself while still making sure that you stay healthy.

What is Christmas Day Like in Prison?

Christmas day is the only time of year when prisoners are allowed out for entertainment and recreation. On this day, inmates get the only opportunity in a year to celebrate by receiving gifts from family members or friends who visit them at the prison. Inmates can’t look forward to opening presents on Boxing Day.

Inmates may exchange presents on December 25th if there is a visiting day scheduled for that date. If not, then it will take place towards the end of the holiday. Prisoners usually get one gift per person. However, the facilities allow some prisoners to share multiple gifts among themselves.

However, some correctional facilities still allow inmates to give their families small tokens or money. Inmates who have children spend Christmas with them at home. Prison staff will usually organize visits for the inmates between relatives and friends during this period.

There may be special events organized such as concerts and sports matches. Some prisons may hold religious services, and there might even be an open house where visitors can meet other people inside. The inmates are allowed to celebrate the holiday with their families, but they have no contact with them during this time.

What Do Inmates Expect for Christmas?

On Christmas day, many prisons have special activities planned for the inmates. These range from movies shown inside the prison walls to visits from family members who come to visit them. Many prisons offer religious services where the chaplain leads prayers and readings from scripture. There are usually no restrictions placed upon visitors except that they must not wear any clothing that would identify themselves as being affiliated with law enforcement agencies.

The day starts at 6 am when the inmates wake up. Breakfast consists of porridge, bread rolls, tea or coffee, and orange juice. After breakfast, they have their usual workout routine, which includes running laps around the yard. There will always be entertainment such as singing, dancing, drama, and sports games. Inmates who work in the canteen serve food during this time.

At 11 am, there’s lunch followed by an afternoon rest period until dinner time. Inmates are served with desserts such as fruit cake, mince pies, chocolate pudding, or custard. Dinner is usually served cold between 5 pm-6 pm. It can be anything from soup, vegetables, meat stew, and pasta. They also get one piece of fruit juice per inmate as well as two slices of toast. The main meal of the day is eaten at 7 pm.


Prisons should enable inmates to experience a good time with their loved ones on Christmas day. These days, most families spend more time apart than ever before, which means there’s no better chance to let them know just how much you miss them. Although the prison system is not equipped for this event, it would be impossible to provide all the amenities needed to make sure everyone has an enjoyable time.

Inmates will appreciate any effort made by those who care about them. There are many ways to show how much you love someone even when you aren’t physically together. It would be best if you tried not to take inmates away from the joy of Christmas.

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