Four Years Later, He Still Goes to Thanksgiving at 'Grandmas'

Baked turkey for Christmas or New Year space for text

A wrong number has turned into a sweet holiday tradition.

Jamal Hinton was at work in 2016 when he received a notification from his phone, alerting him to a text message he'd received from an unknown number. The message was from "grandma," who was inviting him to Thanksgiving dinner at her house. Slightly confused and believing the text might actually be from his grandmother, the 17-year-old texted the mystery number back, asking who they were and a photo.

Wanda Dench, who believed she'd was texting her grandson (who'd recently changed his phone number), sent a selfie back to Hinton.

Hinton replied with his own photo, proving to Dench that there'd been a mix-up and that she wasn't texting her grandson. Then, as a joke, Hinton asked if he could still get a plate at dinner, to which Dench responded: "Of course."

After all, as Dench pointed out, that's "what grandmas do."

Hinton shared the interaction on Twitter where it quickly went viral. Hinton and Dench arranged plans and a new holiday tradition was born. In 2017, Hinton received an official invite, and again in 2018. This year, Hinton and Dench are getting together for a fourth year in a row.

"Time kind of just flies, we don’t even realize how long we’ve been there. They’re really good company," Hinton told TIME. "We don’t watch TV or anything. We just sit at the table for a couple of hours and talk the whole time and tell stories and see how we’ve been."

In 2018, Hinton posted a photo of the two of them from the last three Thanksgiving dinners even providing a Q&A video stream about the tradition.

Photo: Getty Images

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