Enter to win these holiday goodies in the Holiday HoHoHo Giveaway Hop! (ends 12/30/22)

Hey there!

Are you enjoying December? I hope so! And here’s a little more holiday fun for you, as I’m joining The Review Wire and Chatty Patty’s Place for the fabulous Holiday HoHoHo Giveaway Hop! Lots of other neat bloggers are as well, and keep reading for more info on how to see and enter everyone’s cool giveaways. HoHoHo!

How to visit and enter the Holiday Ho-Ho-Ho Giveaways

You can find all the participating blogs, and their giveaways, on the main Holiday Ho-Ho-Ho Giveaway Hop linkup page. From there, you’ll be able to see each blog (plus its giveaway prize!). You can then visit those blogs by clicking the name or photo. You can enter each individual giveaway then, by following the blog’s entry instructions.

To get to the Holiday Ho-Ho-Ho Giveaway Hop linkup page, just click on the InLinkz button below (the blue one with the frog on it). Then, enjoy! And check out and enter those giveaways!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

And now, for FINCHNWREN’s #HoHoHoHop prize!

The FINCHNWREN blog is giving away this trio of goodies to one blog reader! The prize pack includes these three items:

  • Paula Deen’s Christmas 2022 Special Issue magazine: “Festive Dishes for Holiday Meals”
  • Old Navy Cozy Socks (cream, with a pug dog wearing a stocking cap)
  • Old Navy Cozy Slipper Socks featuring Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch (with gripper dots on the socks’ bottoms)

How to enter the FINCHNWREN giveaway:

To enter to win the FINCHNWREN prize pack, simply click on the link below that says, “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry page, where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on 12/20/22. US entries only for ages 18 and older. One winner will be selected to win all three items. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Best wishes and Merry Christmas! –Wren

Disclosure: The FINCHNWREN blog is only responsible to fulfill its own giveaway in this giveaway hop, not others’ giveaways.

Celebrate the season with Pure Flix: “Silver Bells” (review & giveaway, CLOSED)

**Congratulations to Lacey W, the giveaway winner!**

#sponsor #partner

I’m so excited to share another Pure Flix film with you, which is part of their Christmas lineup of family- and faith-centered films (190 of them to choose from!) for you to enjoy as we prepare our hearts for Christmas. (I will also have a 3-month Pure Flix subscription to give away to one reader!) I was gifted the opportunity to watch the Pure Flix film “Silver Bells,” about a sportscaster dad whose heart is given more to his games coverage and film time—than it is to his family. Until, that is, he becomes “that” dad during his son’s basketball game.

About “Silver Bells”

“I’m Bruce Dalt. Action 8 Sports. For the win!”

Bruce Dalt (played by Bruce Boxleitner) is bigger than life. He’s jovial, fun, and knows everything about sports. But–he’s driven. Can’t bear to lose. Vetoes his wife’s plan for silver Christmas lights because the Dalt family always “goes for the win!” –Which means gold. Little by little, we see the other side of Bruce. He does love his family–but there’s something inside him that can’t give up first place. So, there’s rudeness. Selfishness. Choosing work over family celebration and togetherness. (Painfully unaware of his effects on others.) He’s pretty sure that he knows more than anyone else in the room.

His actions at his son’s basketball game have swift and serious consequences…that finally, eventually, give Bruce an opportunity to become a different man.

“You never know WHAT God has in mind.”

Major Lowell of the Salvation Army, played by Antonio Fargas, in “Silver Bells”

(He also gets this fantastic line: “I didn’t say we were robbing a bank!”)

Because of Bruce’s choices, he’s required to do a couple of things; restitution, to the ref. And many hours of community service, with the Salvation Army. (And if there’s anything we know about Bruce? Service is not his thing.)

My thoughts about “Silver Bells”

Well! Welcome to my new favorite Christmas movie!

Our family loves sports movies, so this one was both an easy viewing choice and one that provided lovely moments of faith, redemption, and family. (Eventually. Because Bruce has a hard road to head down first.) Actor Bruce Boxleitner is fantastic as the dad (and his interactions with Kevin Downes, the referee, are priceless. After their *first* interaction, which is more on the cringey and painful side). Before his costly mistake, you really can see that there’s a diamond in the rough in him. It’s just going to take a lot of sanding to get to that diamond.

It’s very much a sort of modern “A Christmas Carol” film (without the ghosts). But Bruce’s journey isn’t an overnight, immediate character transformation. His is gradual. Painstaking. (And at times, painful.) I loved that, though, because it made the story feel so real. I don’t want to give too much away, because it’s an utter joy to watch without knowing what’s going to happen. I will tell you that the story arc (and the character arc too!) is fantastic. There is humor (yes! I laughed out loud!). And heartwarming faith–love–and change.

It is wonderful! And beautiful. And it’s a film you can watch safely with your entire family. Don’t miss “Silver Bells” on Pure Flix!

“That’s not the way it should be among you. Instead, whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant…That’s the way it is with the Son of Man. He did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many…”

Matthew 20:26-28, The Bible (ISV)

Watch the “Silver Bells” trailer here!

Check out the Christmas film offerings on Pure Flix!

With 190 Christmas film titles, you won’t run out of wholesome, faith-centered family viewing goodness this season. 45 of these are brand-new on Pure Flix in 2022! In addition, there are 11 Pure Flix Originals (6 of them new in 2022) and 3 new exclusives. You’ll find amazing series and movies like:

  • “The Way,” with Kathie Lee Gifford
  • “Lifemark,” with Kirk Cameron and a fantastic cast, which celebrates adoption and life
  • Original Pure Flix series “Legacy Peak” and “Saved by Grace,” which feature family, answered prayers, and visits from angels
  • “Thursday Night Club,” with friends and community helping a young woman who’s suffered enormous loss
  • And so much more. And of course, “Silver Bells”!

You can see more of what’s available by clicking on this Pure Flix link.

Subscribe to Pure Flix today!

Pure Flix is providing a great discount for new subscribers now ONLY THROUGH 11/29/22, for Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday. Here are the details:

  • Enjoy a free 7-day trial and then pay only 99 cents for the next two months when you sign up today or tomorrow at Pure Flix.
  • After this promotion, subscription rates revert to $7.99 per month.
  • And, if you’ve been a Pure Flix subscriber and want to rejoin, your rate will be $59.99.

Join now and check out “Silver Bells” — and all the other fantastic films on Pure Flix!

Enter to win a 3-month subscription to Pure Flix here!

Pure Flix is offering a 3-month streaming subscription for one FINCHNWREN reader! (Limited to US entries and those who have not won a Pure Flix subscription in the past 6 months.)

To enter, just click on the “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on 12/3/22. Best wishes!

Enter here!

You can also check out these great posts on the Pure Flix blog

15 Christmas Prayers to Share with Your Family

6 Tips to Keep Christ in Christmas

5 Christmas Bible Verses and Stories to Reflect on This Season

Enjoy! –Wren


Many thanks to Pure Flix for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

Precious, Christmas-themed PJs–Holy Pals (a review & giveaway, ends 11/20/22)

#sponsor #partner

Hello darlings!

I have the most wonderful family, faith-filled pajamas to tell you about–and the fantastic company who makes them, Holy Pals. I received the most precious pair for myself, thanks to Holy Pals and FrontGate Media. And you can also enter to win a pair for yourself, or for one of your family members (either parents or kiddos!) These really might be the most charming faith-based clothing items I’ve ever seen.

About Holy Pals

So. I LOVE this company. Their mission is this:

  • Give children the opportunity to draw near to Christ, and to help parents teach their children about their faith.
  • To shine a light on child-focused charities in need of support, raising awareness of their worthy causes and supporting them alongside our customers.

Every pajama sale supports the Littlest Lamb Orphanage, a privately funded orphanage in Egypt. They have built a home for orphaned and at-risk children who have lost parents to death, imprisonment, or abandonment. The Littlest Lamb provides these children with everything they need to thrive – shelter, food, clothing, education and most importantly A FAMILY that loves them. 

George, Jen, Nazareth, and Nile (pictured in the adorable family photos above) want people to know that Jesus is the reason for the season–and the pajama prints sweetly present that focus. Holy Pals has created this clothing to do just that. As they say, “Keeping Jesus the reason for the season in fun matching family Christmas pajamas focused on the true story of Christmas!”

We pray that Jesus is born inside the hearts of all who wear these pajamas. And that they may witness to their family and friends His amazing love.

George, Jen, Nazareth and Nile from Holy Pals

The Holy Pals pajamas:

  • are made from 100% soft and cozy cotton
  • the knit cotton is both very soft and comfortably stretchy
  • are consciously sourced and produced in India
  • are snug-fitting for women and children and loose-fitting for men
  • have a small label stitched on the right arm of each pair of Holy Pals pajamas, with the verse reference of the print
  • are available not only in Christmas prints, but also in prints featuring Easter, Palm Sunday, Esther, Noah, David & Goliath, Jonah, Adam & Even, and more

The Christmas patterns are pictured below, in clockwise starting from top left: Christmas Classic, Starry Night, Joy to the World, and Away in a Manger.

My Holy Pals pajamas experience

I received a pair of Holy Pals pajamas in Christmas Classic, the top left pattern above. I chose the men’s pajamas in size L for myself. I love the women’s pajamas pictured above, but I have had numerous abdominal surgeries over the years and felt that a looser fit might be better for me. I am so happy with my choice!

I wear, most of the time, a women’s M (sizes 8-10), and I am just over 5’7″ tall. But since the men’s pajama bottoms have a drawstring closure (with light elastic) on the waistband, I knew that even if the bottoms were a bit big, I’d be able to pull the drawstring closer and have them fit well. And, while the pajamas were large on me before I washed them, they did shrink just enough to create a perfect fit.

When I launder my own clothes, I *always* wash them in cold water, and I usually hang my shirts and pants to dry after wrinkle-releasing them by running them in the dryer for about 10 minutes. (This is because, over a lifetime of experience, I’ve had sleeves and leg lengths in my clothing end up too short, if I didn’t.) I followed that pattern after turning the pajamas inside out (as recommended) to wash. After the wrinkle release, I hung both the top and the pants to dry.

When I tried them on the next day, there had been a slight shrinkage, which is not surprising since the knit fabric is 100% cotton. But that really just helped them to size perfectly for my frame, in both length, width, and circumference. The quality fabric looked as rich and lovely after the washing as it did before.

Also, since I’m a woman and these are men’s pajamas, I wanted to mention the fly. There is a button halfway between the top and the bottom of the fly, so they felt modest and didn’t have an open gap. I didn’t think of that to begin with, but I appreciated it when I wore them!

…and my final impressions

First, the comfort. Interestingly, I noticed that ALL my pajamas and nightgowns (both winter and summer) are 100% cotton, and the Holy Pals pjs fit right into that preference. I gravitate towards cotton for sleepwear because it’s just so comfortable and doesn’t get too hot. The Holy Pals cotton is smooth, stretches in all directions, and is wonderfully comfortable on the skin. The fit was great as well. The men’s top fit loosely but really nicely, and the bottoms were so comfortable; cozy, but not too tight or constraining anywhere. I guess I felt a bit like Goldilocks–everything was “just right!”

Second, the look. The printed fabric is SO darling. The cartoon drawings of the Christmas Classic design have a plethora of Nativity personages (Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the Three Kings, an angel, and even animals–a camel, a donkey, and a sheep!). Baby Jesus even has an ichthus fish on his swaddling clothes! It is joyful and just so pleasing on the eyes and to the spirit. Really, each one of the designs is wonderful and will provide tons of opportunities to talk with children about Jesus and our spiritual heritage as believers. And, they’ll provide the most adorable family Christmas jammie pics!

Third, the craftsmanship. I have a high appreciation for exceptional seams and tailoring work (just ask me about my mom’s hand-sewn creations!). So, when I see beautiful craftsmanship in clothing, I just value it all the more. The seams, buttonholes, hems, and plackets are superbly sewn. (The men’s pj’s white shirt placket even has the Christmas Classic fabric facing out!) The pajamas are just incredibly well-made and should last for many years to come.

“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ ”

Matthew 19:14, The Holy Bible

Fourth, the company. I just love their vision for providing a quality product for families that will provide comfort, great fit, and beautiful moments for spiritual training. I so appreciate their donations to the orphanage in Egypt. How wonderful that their products can go to little ones whom Jesus describes as precious and loved.

Where you can purchase Holy Pals pajamas for your family–and even get a discount!

Holy Pals is making it possible for you to purchase these darling pajamas for your family–and they’re providing you with a 10% discount as well!

You can get this discount by using this link:

Holy Pals MELANIE10 discount

Or by applying this code when you purchase: MELANIE10 at the Holy Pals website.

And, enter to win your own pair!

You can enter to win a pair of pjs from Holy Pals! To enter, just click on the link below. That will take you to the Blessed Freebies giveaway hosting page, where you can enter to win. Just follow the directions on the website.

Enter to win a pair of Holy Pals pjs!

Where to find Holy Pals online

Holy Pals website

Holy Pals Facebook

Holy Pals Instagram

Thanks for letting me share Holy Pals with you. I so recommend their lovely pajamas–and their company as well. Check them out, and don’t forget to use the purchase link above to get 10% off!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received these pajamas from Holy Pals. All opinions expressed here are my own honest ones.

“It’s Christmas Again” fun family film–coming soon!

#sponsor #partner

There is a wonderful Christmas film that I just heard about from Momentum Influencer Network that you’re going to want to keep an eye out for! It’s Christmas Again from Fathom Events will release in theaters on November 29, 2022. It might just be your new family fave Christmas movie!

About It’s Christmas Again

From the filmmakers:

“Jake Young (Lawson Touliatos) wants nothing more than to spend his Christmas vacation with his girlfriend, Abbey Walker (Leela Owen). So when Abbey volunteers for her church’s Christmas play, Jake is ready to skip Christmas this year until an unexpected turn of events lands him in a field outside Bethlehem on the night Jesus was born. While on his journey with the shepherds to find the promised Messiah, Jake discovers the true meaning of Christmas. Coming this Christmas season, IT’S CHRISTMAS AGAIN is a modern-day musical the whole family will love!”

I truly love this twist on the travel back in time theme. Can you imagine, though–traveling back in time and getting to see the baby Jesus, just born? Or meeting Mary and Joseph, or getting to hear the shepherds’ story of the heavenly host meeting them (and their sheep) in the fields?

It’s such a wonderful idea. I can’t wait!

Here’s how you can buy tickets for this one-night-only-event

It’s Christmas Again will only be in theaters for one night: November 29, 2002. You can purchase tickets and learn more about this film event by visiting the movie website, linked below:

It’s Christmas Again website

Watch the trailer here!

I’ve always enjoyed Fathom Events and their wonderful films. I can’t wait to see It’s Christmas Again. Just in time for preparing our hearts for the 2022 Christmas season.

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received this trailer and film information from Momentum Influencer Network. All opinions included here are my own.

On Waiting…Christmas and New Year’s Eve, 2021

Hello, dear ones!

Unintentionally, there has been radio silence from me. We have had what felt like a lot of life responsibilities heaped upon us suddenly starting just before Thanksgiving. Illness. Car problems. Finals (for the one person who’s in college). Oh, and Christmas? I had not much of anything prepared for it and we didn’t even get the tree up til the Monday before.

But finally, I was able to move forward and get things going.

Before Christmas, in the weeks leading up to it, I spent much of my quiet times focusing on Luke 1-2, as I’m sure many of you did. There is so much richness and beauty in those chapters. But there is also a lot of waiting. We see:

  • Zechariah and Elizabeth, the godly couple who must have been waiting for decades, during their entire marriage, for a child to be born to them
  • Zechariah, who has to wait for 9 months until John is born before he can speak again, after he didn’t believe Gabriel’s words for him
  • Elizabeth, who waits in seclusion for 5 entire months as she is finally pregnant, before she goes out in public. “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days He has shown His favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.” (Luke 1:25)
  • Mary, who is given the gift of becoming the mother of Jesus; first, she has to wait to discover whether Joseph will reject her because of her pregnancy (spoiler: he doesn’t!), as well as waiting the 9 months for Jesus to be born
  • And that’s not to mention the entire nation of Israel, who has been waiting 400 years for God to speak after the end of the Old Testament book of Malachi
  • And again, Israel, who has waited millennia for the Savior who’ll be both king and servant, who’ll crush the serpent’s head as was told ages ago to Eve (Gen. 3)

And then! The waiting is suddenly over!

I’m skipping ahead a bit. But John is born, and named, and Zechariah can suddenly speak again, and he prophesies about Jesus and John. Caesar Augustus decrees that it’s time for a census to be taken of all the Roman world. Which propels Joseph and a very pregnant Mary to Bethlehem, where all those of the line of David must go to register. And, finally, baby Jesus is born.

And who gets the news first? (Other than, of course, Mary and Joseph!) Shepherds, who are out in the fields tending their flocks. In a night they’ll never forget, angels fill the skies, God’s glory shines on them, and they’re told that the Messiah is born in Bethlehem! And they’ll find the baby by following these clues: He’ll be lying in a manger wrapped in cloths.

Ukrainian Religious Icon, late 17th Century, By Unknown – -gGQl9LwX5IzIw at Google Cultural Institute, zoom level maximum, Public Domain,

All that waiting has finally come to an end. The Savior has come, who is Christ the Lord! And the shepherds spread the word (Luke 2:17).

Are you waiting?

Like all of you, I’m praying and hoping for this pandemic to come to a close. I don’t know if you’ve all been feeling as though you’re in a season of waiting, but I definitely have. My son told me that I was in a liminal phase:

A liminal space is the time between the ‘what was’ and the ‘next. ‘ It is a place of transition, a season of waiting, and not knowing. Liminal space is where all transformation takes place, if we learn to wait and let it form us.


I’m definitely in a liminal period. Some callings have ended. I don’t know, yet, what the next calling will be. Can that be difficult? Definitely. But…I know Whose I am. I know that my future is secure in His hands. As I wait, I can embrace His promises:

  • Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”
  • Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
  • Matthew 11:28-29 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
  • Isaiah 40:31 “…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
  • Isaiah 30:15a “This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…”
  • Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
  • Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

(And yes. I LOVE Isaiah.)

As we wait, I want to choose to put my hope in the God who loves me, who called me in the first place, and who holds my future in His good hand. Bless you as we wait. And may God encourage you through His Word, His people, and the unexpected. He is there, and we will get to the other side as we walk through the door into 2022.

May this new year be a blessing for us all.


“Dachshund through the Snow” ~ Review & Giveaway (ends 12/14/21)

#sponsor #partner

I have an adorable children’s book to tell you about! FrontGate Media sent me Michelle Medlock Adams’ brand new picture book, Dachshund through the Snow. Just in time for holiday celebrations! Keep reading for more, and also for info on how you can win a copy for your family!

About the book

In Dachshund through the Snow, we meet Crosby. Crosby is a miniature dachshund. But he’s even smaller than most! He’s the teeniest, tiniest one in his village. Even so, he has been growing. And practicing. And he thinks that he’s finally ready for the Arctic Animal Olympics in Diggityville.

While Crosby would like to be appreciated for qualities other than his size, his fellow kid animals in town focus only on his smallness. They tease him. And they catcall him. Even laugh at him. When he arrives for the competition, and an accident derails his competition hopes, all he can do is run away. Or, actually, dig away. And one thing Crosby can do is dig. And he digs far and fast.

When the pup comes up for air, he has no idea where he is. But a surprising encounter with Santa, and helping Santa out with his own challenge, might help Crosby to understand that his value doesn’t rest on his size. But on something even more important!

My thoughts

I loved so many things about this wonderful picture book! Its illustrations are lively, colorful, and charming. Crosby’s tale of being judged and laughed at for something he couldn’t control–his size–will resonate with children today, in a world where bullying is sadly very common. And what Crosby learns as he helps Santa and the reindeer shows that the size of our hearts is really MUCH more important than how big or small we are.

While Dachshund through the Snow is a tale about saving Christmas that’s based on Santa, the reindeer, and celebrating with gifts, rather than the Christ Child and the Nativity, I believe it would be a fun addition to any child’s holiday book collection. Parents and kids can take the opportunity to talk about Crosby, about taunting and name-calling, and everyone’s inestimable value after reading. And, it provides a cheerful and fun book that would be great for reading alongside hot chocolate (with marshmallows, of course!) and family snuggles. Great book for kids from toddler/preschooler ages through mid-elementary!

And, you can enter to win a copy!

To enter, simply click on the pink link below that says “Enter here!” That will take you to a FrontGate Media page where you’ll be able to enter to win. Giveaway closes on 12/14/21. Winner will be contacted by FrontGate Media. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Where you can purchase Dachshund through the Snow

You can find this darling book at Amazon. Just click on the highlighted link below to go to the book’s purchase page.


Enjoy! –Wren

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from FrontGate Media. All opinions are my own.

Just for you: “25 Days of Christmas” ebook & podcast (fab freebie!)

#sponsor #partner

Just in time for Christmas…Momentum Influencer Network and AccessMore provided this lovely and free resource guide/ebook for me: 25 Days of Christmas. And you can get a copy free for yourself…as well as tune in to a wonderful family podcast!

What you’ll find in the 25 Days of Christmas ebook

25 days’ worth of Christmas! You’ll find devotionals, fun family activities, recipes, plus ways to serve each other and neighbors and friends, all designed to bless our families plus help draw our focus and attention to Jesus.

Once December starts (and yes! we’re already on day 8 of the month!), life can seem like a roller coaster ride. These parties! Decorating the house! Putting up the tree! Looking at Christmas lights! Of course, we love all these activities. But sometimes in the rush we can lose sight of the important things for the holiday: loving our families; extending that hope and love to others; and remembering that the Jesus we love was the “long-awaited Jesus, come to set the captives free.”

25 Days of Christmas is a gentle, fun, full-of-love family guide to celebrating a little, day-by-day, and inviting the Christ child into our month. I loved reading it, and would especially have loved to have had it when our son was a little guy! Truly though, 25 Days of Christmas would be ideal for any family with kids aged high school or younger. (And those families with older kiddos can adapt ideas for “big kids!”)

I love the joy that Arlene infuses throughout the book. It overflows in her writing. And how perfect is that, since Jesus’ birth, as told to the shepherds, would be “good tidings of great joy, which would be to all people.” (Luke 2:10)

How to get your own FREE copy

All you have to do is visit 25 Days of Christmas Arlene Pellicane. Fill in the entry form, and Arlene and AccessMore will email you the 25 Days of Christmas ebook!

I do recommend it. It is a sweet, loving, Christ-centered way to bless your family’s Christmas!

About the podcast

Arlene Pellicane is a writer, speaker, former features reporter for the 700 Club, and (as she says) a wife and mom who finds her happy place with her family in San Diego. Her podcasts series tackles the many issues facing moms and families today, and serves them up with a helping of encouragement along with the wisdom and knowledge that she and her guests share. Her overall theme is helping families to live in a happy home, as you might guess from her podcast series, entitled The Happy Home with Arlene Pellicane.

Some examples of recent topics and guests?

  • Giving, Not Gimme Kids (with Kristen Welch)
  • Finding Rest from Anxiety (with Jon Seidl)
  • Apologetics for Kids (with Natasha Crain)
  • 25 Days of Christmas podcasts, beginning with Prepare Him Room
  • and tons more!

You can find Arlene’s wonderful podcasts and guests at the ArlenePellicane website as well as via the Happy Home link above (which takes you to Arlene’s AccessMore page.)

Thank you so much for visiting today! And may this sweet 25 Days of Christmas ebook bless you!

Enjoy! –Wren


Many thanks to AccessMore for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

Christmas Eve 2020 & Music to Enjoy!

Hi dear friends!

Happy Christmas Eve 2020 to you! My hope and prayer for you are lovely and beautiful days today and tomorrow in spite of the collective craziness that 2020 has been. I’m (naturally, because it’s me) hoping to wrap up (no pun intended) a bunch of pre-Christmas tasks and goodies before we head toward the evening. I’m looking forward to a calm and beautiful day tomorrow and a pleasant night tonight. And, I’m going to be listening to some Christmas music faves today, because that always makes me happy!

Here are some YouTube links of some of my most-loved Christmas songs. Enjoy!


Chris Rice “Welcome to Our World”

Michael W. Smith “Christmastime”

King and Country “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

Il Divo “O Holy Night”

Michael W. Smith “Angels We Have Heard on High/Gloria”

Amy Grant “I Need a Silent Night”

Carrie Underwood & Michael W. Smith “All is Well”

Amy Grant “Breath of Heaven”

Band Aid 1984 “Do They Know It’s Christmas” (complete with 80’s hair and makeup!)

The Piano Guys “Carol of the Bells” (instrumental)

Pentatonix “Mary Did You Know”

Idina Menzel “Do You Hear What I Hear”

YoYo Ma, Alison Krauss The Wexford Carol

Glee Cast “We Need a Little Christmas”

Of course there are SO MANY MORE songs we all love at Christmas! What are you loving and listening to this year?

Happy Christmas Eve, dear ones! –Wren

Have you seen “The Star” DVD?

When my son was younger, I was always looking for high quality video entertainment for him…especially around the holidays.  We loved having great cartoon DVDs to watch at home.  Some of our favorites were holiday features, for Christmas and Easter.  You may have heard that Sony Pictures and Affirm Films produced a wonderful movie for families to enjoy around Christmastime (or really, even the whole rest of the year) called The Star.  FlyBy/Propeller Promotions has offered me the chance to share more about this neat DVD with you!


What is The Star?

This animated feature tells the story of a donkey, Bo, who longs to escape his humdrum life at the village mill.  He sets off one day and experiences an adventure he never dreamed of!  Joined by a sheep (Ruth) and a dove (Dave), the group ends up inside the courtyard of a young couple, Joseph and Mary.  Bo has injured his hoof, which Mary treats as the animals and people get to know each other.  But as the new friends interact, more is going on in the world; a star has appeared in the heavens, prompting the travel of 3 wise men on camels to head to Israel.  King Herod has also heard about this star, and he is worried.  And a census is called for all of Israel, requiring Mary and Joseph…and their new animal friends…to head to Bethlehem.  Danger is ahead not only for the new parents-to-be, but also for the animals, as they head to a stable that will become famous for what will happen there.



Isn’t that an interesting way to tell the story of Jesus’ birth?  The Star includes not only amazing animation but spectacular voice talent as well.  You’ll get to enjoy the voice acting of:

  • Steven Yeun
  • Keegan-Michael Key
  • Tyler Perry
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Patricia Heaton
  • Gina Rodriguez
  • Kelly Clarkson
  • Ving Rhames
  • Anthony Anderson
  • and many more!

In addition, viewers will get to enjoy Mariah Carey singing the movie’s theme song, “The Star.”  The film has a running time of 86 minutes and is rated PG.



The Star on DVD

The Star is now available on DVD, and it’s packed with tons of extras—in fact, an entire hour’s worth of bonus materials in addition to the movie itself!  Viewers can enjoy:

  • “Star-aoke: Sing Along with Bo & Friends”
  • Making a craft with “Star Votives”
  • Baking “Sweet and Sparkly Stars”
  • Behind-the-scene moments with the stars of the film
  • A lovely children’s sermon with DeVon Franklin in “Faith All Year Round”
  • “Life Is Good” dance-along
  • Lyric sing-along portions with the 5 songs in the show


There is also an online weekly Bible study to go along with The Star with Devon Franklin.  You can find more info about it on The Star‘s Facebook link.

More about The Star on social media:

Website (where you can purchase the DVD)


I just love the idea of this movie!  It is a fantastic idea and great for the entire family.  With an incredible voice cast and beautiful animation (not to mention music and DVD extras), this is definitely something you should check out!

Enjoy!  –Wren

From time to time, finchnwren may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.


Merry Christmas!


As Linus reminds us in “A Charlie Brown Christmas,”

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  (Luke 2:8-14)


Merry Christmas!

Enjoy, –Wren