Well, it’s that time of year. The leaves have long changed colors and fallen to the ground.
Along with mulit-color lights arrives familiar holiday classic compositions.
And as the House of Brown transitions from Thanksgiving to warmly embracing Christmas and all it has to offer, we took a trip one-hour northwest to the city of Burnet, Texas.
Why Burnet, Texas? Well, this bubbling city of nearly 6,500 folks has been a beacon of light every Christmas.
For the last 25 years, the First Baptist Church of Burnet has faithfully graced us with Main Street at Bethlehem.
Living here in Austin, Texas for almost 14 years, I had heard from a number folks about the Burnet Christmas Living Nativity Scene (as some refer to it), but never experienced it myself.
With 3 kiddos under the age of 5 (a 4 year old, 3 year old and 1.5 year old) my wife and I, with the encouragement of friend decided it was time to see what all the fuss was about. And boy, I sure am glad we did.
We arrived in Downtown Burnet Square about 45 minutes before entry was allowed.
Being in a small town square again reminded me of my roots and upbringing in Sherman, Texas. In fact, their square is very much like Sherman, Texas.
We managed to take a few family and kid pictures just in time for the ole’ 2017 Christmas card. Below is one of my favorite pics of the kiddos. Just look at all those personalities bubbling and shining ever so bright.
And as normal, I begin to venture around the square curious to see if I would stumble upon any domains worth mentioning.
Knowing small towns often are built upon the fabric of relationships in who you know, I didn’t expect to discover domain name using.
Do small, quaint towns use domains?
So as the kiddos took pictures in front of the square’s colossal Christmas tree, a sign caught my eye from across the street.
I couldn’t make out what the sign displayed outside of the words Benchmark and Xerox, but I knew the ending was the text displayed said .com.
I don’t think I looked both ways before crossing the street, but I sprinted over to the sign to see the domain read as follows: BenchmarkYourOffice.com.
Based on their office building, I knew they provided some sort of business consulting service but that was about it. I also assumed it had something to do with printing, seeing the sign prominently displayed the Xerox logo.
As I later learned once I visited their responsive-friendly website, Benchmark Business Solutions has been around since 1994, offering a wide-variety of managed print services and document-related solutions across Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.
It was then I understood what a good domain Benchmark has chosen to represent their digital brand. Of course, it’s a brandable domain, but it’s also a brandable phrase that’s common in business.
Not only that, but BenchmarkYourOffice.com is broad and not business limiting to offering only print services (which is good in my opinion).
Nevertheless, I wondered if there were both broad and specific domains available that Benchmark Business Solutions could procure in addition to their chosen domain. I searched the following list of domains with the following results (* denotes available at the time of this writing):
As my mind raced in wonder about BenchmarkYourOffice.com, I was beckoned by my wife it was nearing 5:45 pm and time to my our way over to First Baptist Church Burnet for the experience we all eagerly awaited.
As we walked passed the church’s facility, domains were still on the mind. 😀
Not knowing or expecting how big Main Street Bethlehem would be in regards to attendance, I soon found out as we turned a corner to a growing line of folks.
Little did I realize, but this line would grow another 3-4 blocks as we waited for entry into Main Street at Bethlehem at 6 pm.
Too pass time, I spotted a few more companies using domains.
And last but not least, you know you’re having a winter in Texas when you see Kona Ice. 😀
Main Street at Bethlehem Open for Business
6 pm came and passed. By now it was dark and moderately cool, yet those of us in line waited with anticipating chatter while the First Baptist Church sign shined ever so bright.
Nearly 15 minutes after entry was allowed, the line slowly moved along, winding a few times before encountering a mural of three wise men and then finally, Main Street Bethlehem.
What was Life like in Bethlehem?
By this time, I could sense we was in for more than just a “Living Nativity Scene” experience by the sheer size of structure we entered.
Crossing the threshold to enter into Main Street Bethlehem was like walking into a time machine the very night Jesus took on flesh to enter this broken world.
This miniature, yet colossal-size town built by the men and women of First Baptist Church Burnet to resemble Bethlehem is more than the mind could ever comprehend.
Every detail has been covered when venturing throughout the city, including various structures.
From tax collectors to potters to keepers to shepherds to bakers, every person is in character according to their trade.
Not one detail is missed right down to the various real-life animals and actual foods of the day.
Even the roman soldiers are stoic and express their belief that there is no Messiah.
And of course, all the while walking around experiencing Main Street Bethlehem through every sense known to man, above bright in the sky is His star, the star of Bethlehem, in the East.
And behold, below His star sits a living reenactment of the night our Messiah, Jesus.
And from one joyous occasion you pass another joyous, yet painfully solemn reminder of why were able to experience Main Street Bethlehem and live the lives we live.
For it’s not of our own doing, but His, He who came, lived, and sacrificed for us all.
If you’re ever afforded the opportunity to experience Main Street Bethlehem, by all means do what you can to get there and experience it in all of its fullness.
A Winter Wonderland Treat
And added bonus to our night was arriving back at our vehicle in the square 1.5 hrs later to discover the square had been transformed into a lit up winter wonderland.