This Thanksgiving, I Am Thankful for IHOP

Every family has their own traditions, but ours is my favorite.
Photo location:

Every family has their own traditions, but ours is my favorite. Photo location:

Anna Jordan, Staff Writer

I have always been a pretty picky eater. Every year, Thanksgiving would roll around and I would dread the stuffing, the green beans, the pumpkin pie, and the cranberry sauce (turkey and mashed potatoes are tolerable). However, to this day, I look forward to Thanksgiving more than any other holiday of the year. I am aware that many people prefer Christmas and Halloween, and I understand this, but let me explain.

It is not because of football or the parades, and though seeing my family is fun, one thing keeps me yearning for Thanksgiving 364 days of the year: IHOP. Many people argue that Thanksgiving is boring or the food is not worth waiting a year to celebrate, but I have always resented that argument— just make it fun! I’m not sure where along the line my family decided this would be a tradition, but here it is: Every Thanksgiving that I can remember, my cousins, sisters, and I go to the IHOP near my house in our pajamas and absolutely gorge ourselves.

I know some families barely eat before Thanksgiving so they can pig out at dinner, but for most of us, we were trying to fill up on food we like while we still can in order to avoid turkey and stuffing. No hate to some of the traditional Thanksgiving foods, it’s that we’re kids and there are sugary pancakes in front of us. What do you want us to do?

Now, this may seem unsubstantial to support my love of Thanksgiving, but hear me out. Yes, there is the factor of eating delicious food in pajamas; however, I also get to talk to my extended family with just the kids around, and you know what that means… Finally, I get to hear about the family happenings without the parental censorship that keeps me from knowing the truth! The pancakes may be artery cloggers, but the gossip and stories are almost as sweet. My sister, Charlotte Jordan ’23, also loves our traditions and said, “I always think I’m caught up and that I know so much. But Thanksgiving, every year it shows me how little I truly know. Plus the pancakes are so good, and now they have burgers, so it’s like brunch, which is even better.” It’s true, IHOP does have burgers, and they are delicious.

I really love getting to be with my family, especially when there’s pancakes involved.
Photo by Megan Jordan

The main reason why I love IHOP on Thanksgiving, however, combines everything I have already talked about: the food, the PJ’s, the family, and the gossip— it is the vibe. I have tried to explain this before, and I’ll try again. For better or for worse, nothing— and I mean nothing— feels like IHOP on Thanksgiving morning. Even if I went to IHOP in my pajamas with my cousins on any other day of the year, it still wouldn’t feel like my uncle handing my oldest cousin his credit card with a grimace, her younger brother ordering the most expensive meal because of multiple hot chocolates, or my younger cousin setting off the fire alarm because he accidentally went out through the emergency exit.

During Christmas, it feels like Christmas for a month straight, and the same could be said for October and Halloween. When those days actually come, sometimes it feels like “dang, is it actually today?” But with Thanksgiving at IHOP, it’s almost like I don’t see it coming and then all of sudden, I’m at IHOP in pajamas. There’s nothing like it, I assure you. I genuinely wish that others could experience it like I have so that they don’t think of Thanksgiving as a lame holiday. Even when it’s just my sisters and I, it still feels like IHOP on Thanksgiving, and we have meals together all the time now.

I 100% recommend trying it either on Thanksgiving or setting any random date once a year where you choose either some members of your family or some close friends and eat IHOP in your PJ’s. You could make it monthly, weekly, I don’t care. When there’s a set date on which you and the ones you love gossip and eat pancakes in celebration of each other’s company, it’s bound to be a day like no other.