The sweetest Thanksgiving tradition this side of candied yams is back!
Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench will once again get together for the holiday, six years after she accidentally sent him a text inviting him to Thanksgiving dinner, believing she had texted her own grandson.
“We are all set for year 6!” Hinton posted Sunday on Twitter, acknowledging that it will be the sixth straight year they have spent Thanksgiving together.
He also posted a text message Dench shared inviting him, his girlfriend and his family to dinner.
“It would bring my great joy if you, Mikaela and your family would come to my house on Thanksgiving day to share good food and great conversation. Your friend always, Wanda.”
Hinton, who accepted the invitation, also posted a selfie featuring him and Dench.
Hinton and Dench went viral in 2016 after she texted him, saying she’s hosting Thanksgiving dinner and would love it if he could attend, thinking she was texting her grandson.
They then swapped photos.
“You not my grandma,” he wrote. “Can I still get a plate tho”
Dench didn’t miss a beat.
“Of course you can,” she replied. “That’s what grandma’s do ...feed every one.”
Last year, Dench and Hinton (along with Mikaela) met up prior to Thanksgiving, along with a small group of her family, including “the grandson that originally started all of this by changing his phone number and not telling me he changed it,” as she told TODAY in 2020. It was the first Thanksgiving since Dench’s husband, Lonnie, died in April 2020 from complications from COVID-19.
Hinton even posted a video on Twitter in April 2020 of him enjoying lunch with the couple.
“We miss you Lonnie,” he wrote.
Dench is especially grateful for her relationship with Hinton.
“Jamal taught me that age made absolutely no difference,” she told TODAY last year. I love all of my grandkids and kids, but we all are different generations and we all reminiscence about different things. But when Jamal came along, my husband and I and him and his girlfriend, we would go out to dinner throughout the year together and we would just lose all track of time.”
“That’s when it dawned on me that there doesn’t have to be a generation gap to have friendships,” she added. “So now I look at a lot of young people in a different light than I used to and I make it a point to talk and get to know them.”
“He’s changed my life a lot, I know that.”