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Legos, gingerbread and gumdrops: How the Obamas decorated the White House for the holidays one last time

White House Christmas 2016
A Lego gingerbread White House is among 56 -- one for each U.S. state and territory -- on display inside the executive mansion this year.
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

The White House has once again been transformed into a winter wonderland for the holidays, complete with snowball arches composed of more than 6,000 ornaments, 56 Lego gingerbread houses made from 200,000 Lego bricks, 8,000 bows and ribbons and 25,000 yarn pom-poms. 

The traditional White House gingerbread house -- the ostensibly edible version -- is a hefty replica weighing in at 150 pounds of gingerbread, 100 pounds of bread dough, 20 pounds of gum paste, 20 pounds of icing and 20 pounds of sculpted sugar pieces.

According to a White House news release, this year’s holiday theme, “The Gift of the Holidays,” reflects on gifts that matter, such as “service, friends and family, education and good health.”

The majority of the holiday decor was designed by Rafanelli Events and executed by 92 volunteers from across the country. While the statistics may sound excessive, only 10% of the decorations are new, with the remainder repurposed from previous White House holidays.

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Enjoy a tour with us here: 

Cross Hall is decorated with mirrored ornaments and garlands.
Cross Hall is decorated with mirrored ornaments and garlands.
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press )
More than 7,500 sparkling crystal ornaments hang from strands of colored ribbons on the East Colonnade of the White House.
More than 7,500 sparkling crystal ornaments hang from strands of colored ribbons on the East Colonnade of the White House.
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press )
Fifty-six Lego gingerbread houses — one for each U.S. state and territory — nestle in branches of the trees throughout the dining room. Homemade holiday treats will also serve as ornaments and gumdrop wreaths will hang from the windows.
Fifty-six Lego gingerbread houses — one for each U.S. state and territory — nestle in branches of the trees throughout the dining room. Homemade holiday treats will also serve as ornaments and gumdrop wreaths will hang from the windows.
(Olivier Douliery / TNS )

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A portrait of former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton hangs between snowmen in the Center Hall of the White House.
A portrait of former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton hangs between snowmen in the Center Hall of the White House.
(Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images )
Several trees decorate the China Room of the White House.
Several trees decorate the China Room of the White House.
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press )
The White House gingerbread house is made of 150 pounds of gingerbread, 100 pounds of bread dough, 20 pounds of gum paste, 20 pounds of icing and 20 pounds of sculpted sugar pieces.
The White House gingerbread house is made of 150 pounds of gingerbread, 100 pounds of bread dough, 20 pounds of gum paste, 20 pounds of icing and 20 pounds of sculpted sugar pieces.
(Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images )
Inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign, oranges, apples, and pomegranates mix with greens to create wreaths in the Red Room, along with gift boxes made out of cranberries.
Inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign, oranges, apples, and pomegranates mix with greens to create wreaths in the Red Room, along with gift boxes made out of cranberries.
(Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images )
The White House Christmas Tree — a 19-foot Douglas fir donated by a tree farm in Pennsylvania -- was trimmed to fit into the Blue Room.
The White House Christmas Tree — a 19-foot Douglas fir donated by a tree farm in Pennsylvania -- was trimmed to fit into the Blue Room.
(Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images )
The Lower Cross Hall features “snowball” arches created from more than 6,000 ornaments, while multiple snowmen line the corridor.
The Lower Cross Hall features “snowball” arches created from more than 6,000 ornaments, while multiple snowmen line the corridor.
(Olivier Douliery / TNS )
Oversize replicas of the Obamas’ dogs -- Bo and Sunny -- made with more than 25,000 yarn pom-poms, are displayed in the East Wing Hallway of the White House.
Oversize replicas of the Obamas’ dogs -- Bo and Sunny -- made with more than 25,000 yarn pom-poms, are displayed in the East Wing Hallway of the White House.
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press )
Dog-themed ornaments and presents add a pet-friendly touch alongside larger-than-life replicas of Bo and Sunny in the East Wing Hallway of the White House.
Dog-themed ornaments and presents add a pet-friendly touch alongside larger-than-life replicas of Bo and Sunny in the East Wing Hallway of the White House.
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press )
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In the Library, crayons and pencils were used to form stylized trees while ornaments spell out the word “girls” in 12 languages,
In the Library, crayons and pencils were used to form stylized trees while ornaments spell out the word “girls” in 12 languages,
(Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images )

lisa.boone@latimes.com

Twitter: @lisaboone19 

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