Thanksgiving serves as a time to rejoice with family and acknowledge life’s blessings and the generosity of others. While many people typically celebrate with their immediate families, Wanda Dench and Jamal Hinton took their celebration a step further about 7 years ago when they accidentally connected for the holiday. What began as a text mix-up has evolved into a heartwarming tradition that is approaching its 8th anniversary. USA Today noted that this year, the pair has exciting plans to expand the gathering and add to the festive atmosphere.
To provide some context, Dench had intended to invite her grandson over for Thanksgiving in 2016 via text but ended up messaging teenage Hinton by mistake. Although the confusion was cleared up, Hinton humorously expressed his intention to still join, and Dench was more than welcoming. Ever since then, the two have shared a captivating Thanksgiving each year, fostering a bond and expressing mutual appreciation. To elevate the experience this year, Dench has decided to extend the invitation to more people. In an Instagram post, she announced, “To celebrate our eighth Thanksgiving together (yes, eight!), we’re teaming up with Airbnb this year to host a few extra seats at our table.”
Now 24 years old, Hinton remarked, “I mentioned from our very first Thanksgiving that I always wanted more people to join us and experience the fun that we have together.” The concept is simple yet intriguing. Anyone over the age of 18 with a verified profile is encouraged to make a reservation and secure a seat for the memorable Thanksgiving feast. The duo has many plans to ensure that the holiday is both joyful and undoubtedly delicious. In addition to the traditional turkey and other dishes, 66-year-old Wanda has a special treat in mind. “I used to make a good pumpkin pie, but Costco does it better than me, so we’re having my favorite Costco pumpkin pie,” she shared.
Beyond a warm room and a hearty meal, there will be board games, hot cocoa, cider, and an abundance of warmth to be shared. Having celebrated seven wonderful years together, the pair is eager to give their eighth year a fresh twist. Hinton and Dench are eagerly anticipating the newcomers with open hearts and a great deal of affection. “For me, it’s always about the meaningful conversations. Wanda and I talk about everything. We discuss tattoos, delve into our conspiracy theories, share stories about our families, and discuss our goals, aspirations, and future plans,” Hinton revealed.
There appears to be no better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than by genuinely appreciating the connections in our lives and sharing them with others. The pair has become deeply intertwined in each other’s lives and find it extraordinary to have stumbled upon something so special. Hinton and Dench have truly embodied the spirit of Thanksgiving, and they hope that this year, many others will have the opportunity to build new relationships and create lasting memories.