Christmas isn't merry for everyone and churches are gathering on the shortest day of the year as a reminder. 

"I think it's really important to acknowledge Blue Christmas because Christmas is really hard sometimes for people," says Steph McGown, the Worship Director at Soul Sanctuary in Winnipeg. "I grew up in Northern Ireland but I've been living in Canada for four years now. This is my fifth Christmas away from home."

McGown says that Blue Christmas can be for anyone having a hard time during the holidays, whether it's from losing a loved one, to being away from home, to losing a job or relationship. 

"It's a gathering that gives space to express grace through song and scripture, allowing people to acknowledge their grief before the Lord."

Soul Sanctuary will be hosting a Blue Christmas service on the shortest day of the year. 

"Our gathering is December 21 at 7:00 p.m. It will run for about an hour. We'll have a time of worship and spend some time in scripture and we'll also have some interactive prayer stations. It will all be COVID friendly and we're offering an online gathering for those who prefer to watch at home."

McGown hopes everyone feels welcome to participate in the service, as it's meant to bring community and connection to those hurting during this time. 

"I think people appreciate having a space and a place to acknowledge that sometimes Christmas is really hard. As I was picking which songs we were going to have, my hope for it is that the person who is grieving knows they're not alone."