A text sent to a wrong number has turned into a Thanksgiving tradition eight years strong, in the most wholesome holiday story you’ll read all day.
In 2016, Arizona woman Wanda Dench sent a text message inviting who she thought was her grandson to dinner, only for Jamal Hinton, a stranger, to receive it instead.
Hinton, confused, replied, “You not my grandma,” along with a selfie to prove his point.
“Can I still get a plate though?”
Dench replied, saying, “Of course, that’s what grandmas do… feed everyone.””.
Hinton, who was 17 at the time, accepted the offer to drive from Tempe to Mesa in Arizona for dinner.
They’ve kept the tradition alive each year, with Hinton even bringing his girlfriend along to the party. The pair say they’ve become like family.
“Some may recognize us from our viral text mishap that led to our first Thanksgiving together back in 2016,” Hinton said in a recent update talking about this year’s dinner.
“And eight years later, we’re practically family”
For 2023, Hinton and Dench are kicking things up a notch. While they will of course be reuniting for Thanksgiving once again, they’ve also invited two more people to join them for dinner. “Exciting news, guys – our Thanksgiving year 8 plans are with you,” Hinton wrote on a post to X (formerly Twitter).
He said the pair were renting out a room in Dench’s house over the holiday period so that two people could join them, to “welcome new guests into our holiday tradition”.
The two have grown close over the years having shared all kinds of adventures together, including everything from launching a business to quiet family gatherings.
It also seems Hinton is a bit of a magnet for misdirected texts. In an exchange reminiscent of 2016, he got another text from a stranger’s number hoping to reach someone else.
“Thanksgiving around the corner and I am still receiving text from random number,” he joked in a post on X.
“Year 8 plans are set with a great surprise.”
With the pair outdoing themselves every year, we can only wait and see what surprises futures thanksgivings will have in store.