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Texas grandparents send cardboard cutouts in their place for Thanksgiving

The couple found a fun way to celebrate with their family.
/ Source: TODAY

This Thanksgiving is an opportunity to think outside the box. Just ask Missy and Barry Buchanan.

The Texas couple, who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 complications due to their age, surprised their grandkids with life-size cardboard cutouts of themselves.

“We decided that we didn’t want to risk getting sick,” Missy, 69, told TODAY Parents. “Then I started thinking, ‘How can I still make it fun?’”

That's when she had her aha moment.

Before Missy mailed the cutouts, she called her children, Mindy and Matthew, to let them know a large box would be arriving at their homes. She wanted to manage their expectations.

Missy and Barry Buchanan, who are vulnerable to COVID-19 complications, surprised their grandchildren with life-sized cutouts of themselves. Courtesy Missy Buchanan

“I said, ‘Don’t get too excited. It’s just something funny for Thanksgiving," Missy, a writer, explained. “I had no idea they’d be such a hit. My daughter called me laughing and went on and on about how much she loved it."

Missy noted that her four grandchildren have been moving the cutouts throughout the house. Often Missy and Barry are placed by the front door as greeters.

“They’ve taken us to a chicken coop. We’ve just been all over the place,” Missy gushed. “I told the kids, ‘I fully expect to be decorated for Thanksgiving dinner.’ Maybe I'll get a pilgrim hat!"

Barry and Missy Buchanan can't wait to be reunited with their grandkids.Courtesy Missy Buchanan

Though Missy and Barry miss their grandchildren, who range in age from 3 to 12, she’s hopeful that next year they’ll all be gathered around the same table.

“Grandparents can lead the way on this. We can show others how you can be safe and still celebrate,” Missy explained. “I think they’re having more fun with the cutouts than they would have had we been there in person!”