Grandparents send cardboard cutouts to take their place at Thanksgiving

ROCKWALL, Texas — Texas grandparents who were not going to be able to spend time with their children and grandchildren because of the coronavirus pandemic, instead sent cardboard cutouts of themselves to sit at Thanksgiving dinner.

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“I was just trying to think of something fun, I have really creative and fun kids and grandkids,” Missy Buchanan told WFAA. “I wanted to make it memorable.”

Buchanan and husband Barry did not want to risk infection but still wanted to make the holidays enjoyable, “Today” reported. Missy Buchanan called and warned her children, Mindy Whittington and Matthew Buchanan, that large packages were on the way.

“We all opened it up at the end of the day thinking it was going to be socks or pajamas or something like that. We opened it up and it was hilarious,” daughter Mindy Whittington, who lives in California, told WFAA. “We all wish we could be together but she always finds a way to bring us together and celebrate one another.”

The cutouts are surprisingly realistic.

“We walked up and we opened the door of our garage and they’re like, right in front of us,” granddaughter Clara told WFAA. “I thought it was the real Ama and Poppi, then I looked around and I’m like ‘No.’”

The grandchildren have placed the cutouts in various places around the house.

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

Matthew Buchanan, who lives in Texas Hill Country, strategically set up the cutouts as greeters near the front door.

“They are pretty much watching over the entire downstairs,” Matthew told WFAA. “The kids get to pass them as they go to bed every night and say good night to Ama and Poppi.”

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