Thanksgiving and giving thanks 2019
Written By Melissa

It’s that time again – when I try to spend time in gratitude but find myself mired down in all the stuff I need to buy (that I picture finding its way into landfill within the year if not the month) and the scientific precision required to manage our family’s calendar – thankfulness feels like one chore too much.

 I don’t know about you guys, but I do it to myself. I proclaim to be all about outsourcing but I’m baking and planting and creating homemade gifts. I’m listing, shopping, planning parties and decorating and spending every ounce of spare energy on doing and more and making the season ‘perfect’.

When isn’t all this stuff just taking me farther away from perfection? Isn’t our time better spent just actually sitting with our loved ones and sharing moments than missing dinners out buying all the xmas ‘must haves’?

I keep thinking I’ll get better at this. Wiser, more efficient, more conscious of what matters and what doesn’t and focus myself better. I guess I’ll keep making reminders, maybe we could help each other to set different expectations? I could be that friend that says, ‘DON’T. Don’t worry about the mess at home and feed your kids fast food.’ (hint: I am already kinda that friend – I also think clothes on kids are optional). But maybe we could all do more of this. Don’t bring me stuff for xmas – I don’t need it. Just bring yourself and your smile and your thought-provoking conversation.

In my first 10 years here in Oz, I didn’t have a Thanksgiving, because if I didn’t do it, nobody else was (obvi, not an Aussie hol, I’m not complaining) but mostly because I found it all too hard. My job in teaching meant I was ALWAYS drowning in report writing at this time of year and I couldn’t imagine adding cooking a turkey and organising a THING on top of what already felt like a totally overwhelming time of year. But then we had kids and started Red Gum and my desire to share this special holiday with them and my reason (and ability – thanks Chefs!) for extending our US food traditions via the business meant I was able again to connect with the holiday.

A wonderful thanksgiving feast shared with friends in 2018 - we are excited to do it again this Saturday!


A wonderful thanksgiving feast shared with friends in 2018 – we are excited to do it again this Saturday!

And here’s what I love about Thanksgiving. It’s none of those things. It’s not about STUFF. It’s about taking the time to eat, to be with the people you love and be THANKFUL. It’s about all of the things that we value here at Red Gum BBQ. It’s about moments and family and food.

If you didn’t know, thanksgiving is literally about GIVING THANKS. And is a perfect reminder as I race through my days thinking of all the doing, that what I should be doing, is remembering the WHY. It’s not about the decorations or the presents, the dresses and the nails, the baking or the events. It asks us to stop in our tracks, look around, take notice of WHAT WE HAVE and be grateful for that. To be THANKFUL for all of the people we get to sit around a table with and share moments with. To be thankful for the bountiful blessings we do have and remember that that thing in our brain – or those 20 – don’t actually matter.

This Thanksgiving/Christmas season Red Gum BBQ is partnering with The Smith Family Fund and their toy drive for kids who won’t get the xmas ours will. We’ve got a collection in the restaurant and are hoping to get 100 toys. If you’re nearby or visiting the restaurant in the next couple of weeks, please think of bringing something along. If you want the specifics, look HERE.


Our target is to collect 100 gifts to donate to The Smith Family this Christmas.


Our target is to collect 100 gifts to donate to The Smith Family this Christmas.

On Saturday, we’ll sit down with friends in our private dining room and celebrate Thanksgiving. We’ll share the things we’re thankful for and take those precious moments with those special people to STOP. And to remember that all the stuff that matters is the stuff that’s all around us at that table.

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours. ❤️