When Missy and Barry Buchanan's children and grandchildren sit down for their Thanksgiving feasts, the Rockwall couple will be there... sort of.
"I decided that it's gonna be this great idea, that we were going to go to our front porch and take a full-length photo of ourselves," Missy Buchanan said. "I just wanted to find a way just to bring some levity to the whole situation, just some joy, and so thus we came up with the cardboard grandparents idea."
The Buchanans shipped life-size six-foot tall cardboard cutouts of themselves to their son in the Texas Hill Country and their daughter in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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"It just kinda takes the seriousness and sadness out," Buchanan's daughter Mindy Whittington said. "It's really hard not to laugh when you have six-foot parents behind you!"
"We have a good time moving them around the house and positioning them in different places," Buchanan's son Matthew Buchanan said. "I guess I could put a blindfold over my dad for the second half of the Cowboys game, lay him down on the couch, like per usual."
The Buchanan's grandchildren have been having fun with their cardboard grandparents watching them play on the swings, and pet their backyard chickens.
"We don't really get to have the whole family together because we don't want to get each other sick, you know," grandson Quintin Buchanan said. "Cardboard cutouts can't really sit down... and eat," Quintin's little sister Clara said. "I just kinda want it to be the same thing as what you can do with a human being."
"It's not as gratifying as having a grandchild crawl up in your lap and being able to give them a hug," Missy Buchanan said. "But we're just thankful that everybody has been well and safe, and we will be together again around the table."
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.