Every year, we love to hear about how the “Thanksgiving Grandma” Wanda Dench and Jamal Hinton are spending the holiday together.
It’s a story we’ve been invested in since 2016 when Dench mistakenly texted Hinton about coming over for Thanksgiving dinner, thinking she messaged her grandson. She didn’t realize that he had changed his phone number. Hinton jokingly replied he would like to come, and Dench said he was welcome. Their text exchange went viral, and that kind gesture forged a relationship that still holds strong eight years later.
Thanksgiving this year will be different for the duo, as they have teamed up with Airbnb to invite two new guests to join the festivities.
“Airbnb guests can sign up for the chance to eat a catered early holiday dinner on November 20 with Dench, 66, and Hinton, 24,” according to The Associated Press. They’ll also get an overnight stay at Dench’s new home in the north-central Arizona city of Prescott Valley.
“Our unexpected friendship may have started accidentally, but our love for meeting new people has kept it going strong almost a decade later,” Dench and Hinton shared in the Airbnb listing. “That’s why this year, we’re expanding our annual tradition and inviting new guests to spend Thanksgiving with us at Wanda’s home – because that’s what grandmas do: feed everyone.”
According to the Associated Press, Dench’s favorite Costco pumpkin pie will be served along with classics such as turkey and mashed potatoes. In addition to taking selfies and watching movies, guests can play board games and watch movies. There is a booking fee of $16 to sign up for the dinner and overnight stay on Airbnb, marking the year that Dench and Hinton met. Travel to Dench’s home will be the responsibility of the guests.
Dench hopes their story will inspire others to be open to new people and friendships.
“That would be pretty cool to see people wanting to share a good experience and then open it up to other strangers as well,” she said.
Hinton revealed last year that he and Dench had teamed up with Netflix and were producing a movie about their touching holiday tale.