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Preparing for Christmas in Prison

celebrating Christmas in prison

Prison is one of the most challenging places to celebrate the holidays. As many families work hard to connect over the holiday season, it can be especially difficult for families with a loved one in prison. Although it may seem difficult, there are many ways to celebrate the holiday season in these conditions. For those of you that have a loved one in prison, here are a few resources to make their prison special. 

Make a gift

Making a card, ornament or a picture of their children are special ways to show them you are thinking of them throughout the holidays. For those without children, any creation you put your heart into will let them know that you care. There are limitations as to what prisons will allow, so check with your state or federal prison rules.

Purchase a gift

One of the best gifts to give to your loved one in prison is a book. Here’s some ideas for books they might be interested in. If you are indeed looking to get them something else, here are some ideas on gifts to give an inmate.

Angel Tree

Angel Tree is a special organization that connects caring people with families of loved ones that are incarcerated. The non-profit organization Angel Tree helps families by assigning families to purchase presents for families who have a father or mother in prison on their behalf. To find out more, check out

prison gifts tyro blog

Send Them an Email

Sending a special holiday email to your loved one in prison is another way you can include them in your holiday plans. There are a few tools you can use to send an email to an inmate. 

Give a Meal

There are several ways to give a meal to someone in prison. Although it may not compare to homemade turkey with all the trimmings, websites like allow you to purchase a meal via their institution’s commissary. This special meal can make a world of difference for your loved one who is trying to make the best of the holidays in prison. 

Plan a Holiday Visit

Nothing will compare to being together as a family for the holidays. Moreover, a trip to visit them in prison is a great way to include them in the holiday season if you are able. Most prisons have visiting rooms open throughout the holidays. Make sure to bring some money along to buy items from the vending machines to make the day extra special. Remember to check with the prison your loved one is located to get more information when planning your trip. 

Plan a video call

Many prisons will allow video calls. This is great way to share the holidays with them. Plan a video call and have family and loved ones present for the call. To make it extra special, dress up for the call or setup the room with Christmas decorations. Be sure to check with your institution to ensure that you can do so. Here is more information on how to make video calls to inmates

The Holiday season is for family. And your loved one in prison needs you over this season more than ever. From gift giving, to homemade presents and video calls, indeed there are many ways to show them you care about them. Making it a priority to spend time with them is worth the effort and will mean more to them that you will ever know.