Can’t think of anything to be thankful for in this screwy year? Maybe these two can help.

This is the story of the woman who accidentally invited a stranger to Thanksgiving, and then she and her new dinner guest became friends.

Back in 2016 Wanda Dench of Mesa, Arizona was finalizing her plans for Thanksgiving dinner, so she texted her grandson to see if he was coming.

Or so she thought.

The grandson’s number had changed, and instead she texted Jamal Hinton, who was in high school when he got the message.

He wrote back to say, I think you may have sent this to the wrong number, but is there any chance I could come for dinner anyway?

“Of course you can,” Dench wrote back. “That’s what grandmas do … feed everyone.”

So Hinton came over for Thanksgiving dinner and the irresistible story went viral.

But that was really only the start of their story.

Dench and Hinton stayed in touch.

They made plans to get together the next Thanksgiving and the next, and on a few other occasions a year too, joined by Dench’s husband Lonnie and Hinton’s girlfriend, Mikaela.

Each year they would take a selfie, which Hinton would post on social media.

The 2020 dinner was tough; Dench’s husband Lonnie, who had been an enthusiastic part of the dinners, had passed away the previous spring.

But they decided they needed to keep the tradition going – as Dench put it, as difficult as things have been, “we need to have hope and always care about other people.”

Not too long ago Jamal Hinton tweeted out his latest text exchange with Wanda Dench, with a caption that got more than a million likes: “We are all set for year 6!”


But of course not every Thanksgiving accident is so wonderful.

In 1957, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade went ahead despite the rain, which led to an odd problem.

The giant balloon of Popeye the Sailor was designed in a way that rainwater started to collect inside the character’s cap.

As the parade made a turn, the cap dipped and drenched some of the parade watchers below.

Young man who was accidentally invited to ‘grandma’s’ Thanksgiving as a teen keeps tradition going (CNN)

Pair that went viral for Thanksgiving dinner reuniting for sixth celebration (WWL)

Most infamous balloon accidents from Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (KOAM)

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