Nova Scotia

Strangers volunteer to cook Christmas dinner for Halifax newcomers staying in hotel

Joanne Kimm and her husband won't have a home for the holidays but the generosity of strangers means they'll still enjoy a home-cooked Christmas dinner with all the fixings.

‘It's a small thing to do to make someone feel welcome,’ says Katrina Ashton

Joanne Kimm and her husband will get to enjoy a home-cooked Christmas meal thanks to the kindness of strangers. (Joanne Kim)

With no home for the holidays, the prospect of a home-cooked Christmas dinner wasn't looking good for Joanne Kimm this year. That is, until a complete stranger stepped in to help. 

Kimm and her husband moved to Nova Scotia from B.C. and are spending their first Halifax Christmas in a hotel after a deal to buy a new house in October fell through. 

"We have a small cooktop and we bought a little convection oven, but there is no stove," she told CBC Radio's Information Morning on Tuesday. 

Kimm turned to social media earlier this month asking if there was a restaurant in the city where she could order a takeout turkey dinner — and she found Katrina Ashton instead.

Ashton volunteered to cook the meal herself and make sure it's delivered to Kimm and her husband in time for the evening of Dec. 25. 

A woman who's living in a hotel in Halifax is getting a home-cooked Christmas dinner from a perfect stranger. 8:12

"It's a small thing to do to make someone feel welcome," Ashton said. "It's impossible, I think, to cook ... a good Christmas dinner for just two people anyway, so why not share?"

Kimm said she's overwhelmed by the generosity.

"I was very taken aback by that and very humbled because, you know, I was just looking for restaurant suggestions and it kind of went another way," she said. 

Turkey, turnips and bacon stuffing

Public health restrictions have meant Ashton and her husband can't visit with their relatives this Christmas like they usually would. 

"I'm still going to do the cooking and do a few more dinners for other people who don't cook," she said.

She's put together an impressive Christmas dinner menu.

Katrina Ashton has planned an impressive Christmas dinner menu. (Katrina Ashton)

"Ham and turkey, stuffing with bacon, coleslaw because my husband has to have coleslaw to make it Christmas," she said.

There will also be whipped potatoes, turnips, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash and two kinds of pie. 

"I may [try] a hand at trying to make some bread this year. We might use them as doorstops," Ashton added.

Kimm said she's looking forward to trying all of it. 

When Joanne Kimm asked for restaurant recommendations earlier this month, she never expected perfect strangers would volunteer to cook her Christmas dinner. (Facebook)

"I'm getting hungry already!" she laughed. 

Other people have also pitched in to make Kimm's Christmas meal extra special.

"It's not just me," Ashton said. "I was talking with another really nice lady and she's concocted some stuff. She's bringing pickles and jams and whatnot, and somebody offered to do the delivery if we couldn't, and we're working on a surprise for Joanne's birthday." 

Kimm said she and her husband have found a new house and hope that deal closes soon. 

With files from CBC Radio's Information Morning

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