Our Favorite Viral Thanksgiving Tradition is Back for Year 7 as Grandma’s ‘Accidental Text’ Lives On
One of our favorite Thanksgiving traditions will live on this season for the seventh year in a row.
Besides the turkey, it's the one thing we look forward to every Thanksgiving; and Jamal Hinton has confirmed that he and Wanda Dench have it all "planned out" for year 7.
Hinton confirmed the heartwarming Thanksgiving tradition on his official Instagram along with a photo of himself standing beside Wanda Dench standing outside The Cheesecake Factory restaurant.
The viral tradition started seven years ago when Hinton received a strange text message, telling the then-17-year-old that Thanksgiving dinner would be happening at her house on Nov. 24 at 3 p.m.
When Hinton replied, asking who was behind this random number sending him a text invite to Thanksgiving dinner, Wanda Dench replied, "Your grandma" and dropped an old woman emoji with the message.
Hinton asked for a photo to prove that it was really his grandmother and Dench sent a pic from work. Hinton then replied with a selfie of his face, saying that she wasn't his grandma but asked if he could "still get a plate tho?"
Dench replied "Of course you can. That’s what grandma’s do...feed everyone."
Ever since Hinton and Dench met up for Thanksgiving dinner six years ago, complete strangers (like me) on the internet have been following their story and have been looking forward to their Thanksgiving connection almost as if it was some type of a sign that everything is right in the world of Thanksgiving.
There have been many changes, big life moments, and sadly, even some loss over the years—but Wanda and Jamal have kept their tradition going strong. Even after Wanda lost her husband, Lonnie, at the height of the pandemic in 2020, Hinton was by her side to offer love and support.
The year that Lonnie passed, a photo of Wanda's husband was pictured at the table during their traditional Thanksgiving meetup.
People have suggested that Hallmark should make a movie about their story and it seems like Netflix was actually quicker to the punch, as Jamal shared that there is a project in the works where their story will be told on the big screen.
After all these years, Dench still feels like "fate stepped in" when it came to meeting Jamal the way that she did.
Jamal taught me that age made absolutely no difference. 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. One time, we were at a restaurant for three or four hours and I couldn’t believe we were there that long. We kept talking! It was just such a wonderful conversation.
Both Wanda and Jamal have changed each other's lives and their story has been a bright and viral example that friendships really know no boundaries.
I don't know about you, but my eyes lit up and my heart was full when I saw they officially linked for year 7, so smash that share button and give someone else that same feeling.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving, and don't forget that this food-filled holiday is all about "bringing people together."