For more than a quarter of a century, longtime Mebane resident Mary Corbett has turned her home on West Street in Mebane into a glittering Christmas spectacle. This year was no different, as the 87-year-old Corbett matriarch welcomed family, friends, and special guests to her home for her annual Christmas celebration.
Mrs. Corbett, who has lived in Mebane for over 60 years, joked in telling us that she just kept most of the trees up year-round these days. But her family informed us that she actually got started with the annual tree decorations back in September, a full three months before the Christmas season’s arrival.
Approximately 30 trees adorned Mrs. Corbett’s home, taking shape in every room of the house, from the bedrooms to the living room to the hallways to even the bathrooms. On the decks and out in the yard there were more trees. On the upstairs deck there were three more, glowing in the evening darkness.
It’s impossible not to be in the Christmas mood at Mary Corbett’s house.
From the food and the friendly conversation, to the singing and music and the festive scene, it’s hard to find a more fitting setting to make Christmas memories in Mebane.
“This is my mom’s open house, that we’ve been doing this for more than 25 years. We’re so excited. We’ll probably have about 80 guests between Sunday (December 22) and Monday (December 23),” Corbett’s daughter, Dr. Donna Corbett, said. “She decorates every single tree. She’s 87 years old, and she still loves Christmas. And we’re going to continue this until she doesn’t want to do it anymore. I’m very proud to continue this legacy for her. We have some very wonderful people here.”
Shiela Wilson, who assisted the family with tours of the home during the pre-Christmas celebrations on December 22 and 23, spoke about the spirit the home gives during the season.
“I have been coming for about ten years myself. It’s been an honor. I get to meet so many fabulous people, and it’s so great to see just the beauty of Christmas, friendship and fellowship,” Wilson said. “The whole Mebane community and surrounding communities comes and says, ‘I’m amazed. Oh, my gosh. So many trees. So many years.’”
This year, along with accepting numerous guests to see all the various decorated Christmas trees, the Corbetts also collected canned goods to assist a local food pantry with their post-Holiday needs.
“We are getting canned goods and other goods to make sure that we can take care of the community,” Wilson said. “The one thing about this time of year, people seem to be in a spirit of giving, which is great. But someone needs to eat the day after Christmas, and the day after that, and the day after that. Because we’re getting these canned goods and other non-perishables together, we can make that happen for several families.”