ROCKWALL, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – When the pandemic kept Rockwall grandparents Missy and Barry Buchanan from traveling to their kids’ house to see their grandchildren for Thanksgiving, they had to get creative.

“I was trying to figure out what can we do that will send a message, that it’s going to be okay,” said grandma, Missy Buchanan.

So they brought out their tripod, snapped a photo of themselves, and told their kids something would be arriving for them in the mail.

“So I said, I want you to keep an eye out on a large package,” Missy Buchanan said. “But don’t have high expectations, it’s just something fun for Thanksgiving.”

Next thing they knew, their life-sized six-foot tall cardboard cutouts had arrived at the doorsteps of their son in the Texas Hill Country, and daughter in San Francisco.

Missy and Barry Buchanan cardboard cutout (credit: Buchanan family)

Their son, Matthew Buchanan, said his kids have had fun placing them around the house since the day they arrived.

“After Thanksgiving, when the Christmas tree is up and I’m sure we’ll find another space within here so they get to be with us throughout the holiday season,” Matthew Buchanan said.

It may not be the same, but Grandma says giving up one big moment, for next year’s little moments, is worth it.

“It’s all about sacrificial love, not about fear. Wear the masks, do what we need to do to take care of one another. And if that means we can only be there in cardboard this year, then that is what we will do to be face to face next year,” Missy said.

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