News From Terre Haute, Indiana


December 16, 2012

HISTORICAL TREASURE: One shape, many symbols

TERRE HAUTE — This week’s historic treasure is considered one of the most beloved of Christmas decorations, the Christmas wreath.  

The history of the Christmas wreath can’t be determined precisely. It’s a combination of many symbols into one basic shape, the circle.  

The circle is the first known shape in human history; since it has no beginning or end it represents eternity or the circle of life, and remains the world’s most popular religious shape in many faiths.  

The word “wreath” is linked to our word “wrist” and to the Middle English word “wrethe,” a continuous circular shape or band or ring of leaves or flowers twisted into a garland. The use of evergreens represents the promise of spring in the harshness of winter or eternal life.

Using holly in a wreath also has multiple meanings. The prickly holly leaves and red berries represent the crown of thorns put atop the head of Jesus Christ as well as the resurrection and eternal life. Holly and the Christmas wreath have come to stand for peace, joy and contentment.  

Today there are many different designs and styles of Christmas wreaths; their versatility is one of their best selling points, along with their beauty and classic charm. As you’re hanging your wreath this Christmas season take time to consider all the things it stands for.  

Why not spend part of your holiday at the Vigo County Historical Museum? Come and see the wreath on the door and the many other beautiful Christmas decorations from days gone by.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Today in History for April 18th Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City
NDN Video

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010