Decking the Halls

Massachusetts Maritime Academy


4/C Jason Corinha found himself dining in grandeur when he attended a holiday reception at the White House! And … “yes”, it was THE White House in Washington, D.C.

Jason’s mother Karen Corinha, is a professional interior designer and has decorated the White House for the Holidays more than once. This is the first time her son Jason has accompanied her to the reception. “There were multiple security check-points (in outdoor tents) along the way. It was really exciting, and we hadn't really entered the main building yet! Downstairs, there was a choir singing in the Booksellers room. We passed portraits of Eleanor Roosevelt, Lady Bird Johnson and Jackie Onassis hanging in the Vermeil room and antique sabers on display in the Library. A portrait of Hilary Clinton was hanging in the hallway. I couldn't believe I was in the White House and we were still downstairs!” the cadet remembered.

On the main floor a U. S. Marine band was playing Christmas music. A fantastic array of food was available in both the State Dining Room and the East Room. While there are many Christmas trees throughout the building, the largest was on display in the Blue Room, where Mrs. Corinha had worked her holiday magic.

“I've never seen such an extravagant display of great food, and amazing art, architecture and of course Holiday Decoration. When everyone had had a chance to sample the great food, the First Lady came downstairs from the residence and took to a podium to address the guests. After her speech she stopped to meet several people and I was fortunate enough to be among the ones she stopped to meet,” Corinha continued.

This is surely a Christmas this MMA Freshman will always remember. He is already learning that Maritimers frequently find themselves – in unusual places, often through unconventional means.

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