Grandparents Send 6-Foot Cardboard Cutouts of Themselves to Their Grandkids for Thanksgiving

"Family love is not going to change whether we're there or not," Missy Buchanan said after sending the cutouts to her four grandchildren

Missy Buchanan
Missy and Barry Buchanan's cutouts with their grandchildren. Photo: Missy Buchanan

A set of grandparents from Texas weren't able to be with their grandchildren in-person for Thanksgiving, but that didn't stop them from finding a way to still be present at the dinner table.

When Missy and Barry Buchanan realized they wouldn't be able to travel for the holiday due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the couple — affectionately known as Ama and Poppi — knew they had to get creative, Good Morning America reported.

Instead of missing out entirely, Missy decided to buy two, life-size cardboard cutouts of her and Barry, standing 6-feet tall, and send them to their four grandchildren in Texas and California, according to the outlet.

"Family love is not going to change whether we're there or not," Missy told GMA after mailing the cutouts to siblings Quintin, 12, Oliver, 10, and Clara, 6, in Texas, and their 3-year-old cousin, Noah, in California.

Missy told the outlet that her daughter received the surprise package in the mail first. Almost instantly, the kids took the cutouts, propped them up around their house and began snapping photos.

"She texted, 'Omg!' and called and said, 'This is the funniest thing we've ever seen,'" Missy recalled to GMA. "They were moving us to the chicken coop to the kitchen to the fireplace."

While the grandkids found the cutouts amusing, their parents were equally as humored by the surprise.

"My mom had told me that she was sending a large package for the Thanksgiving table," Noah's mom, Mindy Whittington, explained to GMA. "I didn't think twice about it. I just assumed it was going to be a holiday decoration."

"We were just in stitches, we could not stop laughing," she added to the outlet. "We were not expecting six-foot cutouts of my parents."

RELATED VIDEO: 'Thanksgiving Grandma' Keeps Tradition Alive Years After Text Mix-Up, Despite Pandemic

Though the Buchanans were disappointed to miss out on time with their grandkids — and likely won't be able to see them for Christmas — Missy said she hopes the cutouts will bring some joy in what has been a difficult year.

"It's a reminder that there's still something to laugh about," Missy told GMA.

Added Whittington on Facebook: "I love this story because it is so real and so light, at the end of a heavy year."

"I LOVE a good joke, I love my parents, and I love how my mom is committed to making sure we're all together when we're apart... with a serious dose of humor and creativity," she continued. "2020 needs more moments like this!!"

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

Related Articles