Arizona ‘Thanksgiving Grandma’ Wanda Dench Joins Airbnb to Host Strangers for a Holiday Dinner

PRESCOTT VALLEY, ARIZONA: Wanda Dench, Arizona’s beloved “Thanksgiving Grandma” who rose to internet fame after mistakenly inviting a stranger to her family’s Thanksgiving dinner in 2016, opens once moreover his heart and his home to embrace the spirit of the end-of-year holidays.

It all started when Dench mistakenly texted Jamal Hinton instead of his grandson to invite him to Thanksgiving dinner.

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Hinton’s polite acceptance and Dench’s warm welcome

Hinton, recognizing the confusion, responded courteously, but Dench, displaying incredible warmth and openness, insisted that he join them for the feast.

Arizona’s family said Dench playfully recalled their first Thanksgiving dinner. “I know the first Thanksgiving he didn’t bring anything,” Wanda said jokingly. “Wow! Throwing people under the bus, dammit!” Jamal laughs.

Since that chance mix-up, Hinton has been a welcome guest at Dench’s Thanksgiving table every year.

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Join “Thanksgiving Grandma” and Jamal Hinton for a festive dinner

This year, Dench, affectionately known as the “Thanksgiving Grandma,” is partnering with Airbnb to bring her warm hospitality to more travelers.

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In an effort to recreate the magic of this accidental tradition, she is inviting two people to join her and Hinton for a celebratory dinner on November 20 at her Prescott Valley residence.

The reservation cost is $16, a nod to the year this accidental but heartwarming Thanksgiving tradition began.

Although guests are responsible for their own travel expenses, the opportunity to share this unique tradition with Dench and Hinton promises to be an invaluable experience.

On the Airbnb platform, the event description sums up this heartwarming story by saying: “Some may recognize us from our viral misadventure that led to our first Thanksgiving together in 2016. And eight years later, we’re practically a family. In all friendship, we are excited to become Airbnb hosts and welcome new travelers to our vacation tradition, creating meaningful connections.

Great news, guys: our eighth grade Thanksgiving plans are with you! With the help of @airbnb, we’re hosting you and a friend at Wanda’s this year 🦃

Get all the details here:

— Jamal Hinton (@Jamalhinton12) November 1, 2023

The heartwarming story of Wanda Dench and Jamal Hinton’s accidental connection on Thanksgiving has transcended a simple accident, transforming into a beautiful tradition that exemplifies the true spirit of the holiday season.

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