These genius grandparents from Texas have found a creative way to join their sorely missed grandchildren for the Thanksgiving holiday.
After the CCP virus pandemic put a hold on their family plans, Missy and Barry Buchanan decided not to be defeated. They instead posted two life-sized cardboard cutouts of themselves to their son in Texas and daughter in California, to the sheer delight of their four grandkids.
“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?’”
The couple’s daughter, Mindy Whittington, was not too surprised when her mother told her that a large package would be arriving, as she regularly sends gifts for her 3-year-old son, Noah. However, when the package did arrive, the contents provoked peals of laughter.
“We opened it up together and we just could not stop laughing,” Mindy told CNN. Delighted with the unexpected gift, Noah gave his 6-foot cardboard cutouts of “Ama” and “Poppi” a huge hug.
Noah, who chatters to the cardboard cutouts of his grandparents, hasn’t met them since Christmas 2019. According to his mother, the little boy likes to have the cutouts in his bedroom during the night.
Meanwhile, in Texas, the other branch of the family has only managed to have socially distant outdoor visits with their beloved grandparents since the spring owing to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.
In Texas, the couple’s son Matthew and his 10-year-old boy, Oliver, were in splits on opening their package. The father-son duo then set up their hilarious cardboard cutouts ready to greet siblings Quintin, 12, Clara, 6, and Oliver’s mother. “Everybody was sort of confused and laughing, and it was a funny little scene,” Matthew recalled.
“They haven’t been able to give their grandparents a hug since, like, March,” he revealed.
The older children have enjoyed posing with their Ama and Poppi in various spots around the house and even the garden. “They were moving us to the chicken coop to the kitchen to the fireplace,” Missy, a writer, told Good Morning America.
Needless to say, the humorous cutouts have helped take off some pandemic stress this year, Missy said.
“Family love is not going to change, whether we’re there or not,” Missy shared. “It’s a reminder that there’s still something to laugh about.”
Technology has helped the family stay in touch during the pandemic, for which everyone is grateful. With gratitude in mind, the family plans to video-call on Thanksgiving and acknowledge the love that they continue to share during these unprecedented times. Missy also plans to cook a feast for herself and her husband, including roast turkey and pecan pies, even if this would mean that only she and Barry are the ones eating it.
“I just think we should be in the mindset of just, trying to make the most positive thing that we can out of it,” Missy reasoned. “[I]t’s not going to last forever, and we all will be back together again, hopefully soon.”
The cutouts, she assured, will be sticking around until Christmas.
“Grandparents can lead the way on this,” Missy told Today Parents. “We can show others how you can be safe and still celebrate. I think they’re having more fun with the cutouts than they would have had we been there in person!”
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