The Legend of the Christmas Spider

Many of you may be wondering why I am sharing a spider story with you during Christmas.  Well, when my Mother was gifted this spider ornament from my Grandmother, her mother in-law, she was wondering exactly the same thing.  Especially since she absolutely is petrified and disgusted by spiders.

This spider ornament was accompanied by a legend.  The Legend of the Christmas Spider. My copy of the legend says it is the Christ Child that visits but other versions I’ve read say Santa.  

Whatever your preference I hope you find it as endearing as I did. Here is the legend that accompanied our spider. Let me know what you think…

The Legend of the Christmas Spider

Once upon a time, long ago, a gentle mother was busily cleaning the house for the most wonderful day of the year…the day on which the Christ child came to bless the house.  Not a speck of dust was left. Even the spiders had been banished from their cozy corner of the ceiling to avoid the housewife’s busy cleaning. They finally fled to the farthest corner of the attic.

T’was Christmas Eve at last! The tree was decorated and waiting for the children to see it.  But the poor spiders were frantic, for they could not see the tree, nor be present for the Christ child’s visit.  But the oldest and wisest spider suggested that perhaps they could peep through the crack in the door to see Him. Silently, they crept out of their attic, down the stairs, and across the floor to wait in the crack in the threshold. Suddenly, the door opened a wee bit and quickly the spiders scurried into the room. They must see the tree closely, since their eyes weren’t accustomed to the brightness of the room, they crept all over the tree, up and down, over every branch and twig and saw every one of the pretty things. At last they satisfied themselves completely of the Christmas tree’s beauty.

But alas!!  Everywhere they went they had left their web, and when the little Christ child came to bless the house He was dismayed. He loved the little spiders, for they were God’s creatures too.  But He knew the mother, who had trimmed the tree for the little children, wouldn’t feel the same, so He touched the webs and they all turned to sparkling, shimmering silver and gold.

Ever since that time, we have hung tinsel on our Christmas trees; and according to legend, it has become a custom to include a spider among the decorations on the tree.

“This legend is found in both Germany and the Ukraine.”

I did some searching to find out more about the legend and found another version, apparently the Ukraine version, it goes like this…

A poor but hardworking widow once lived in a small hut with her children. One summer day, a pine cone fell on the earthen floor of the hut and took root. The widow’s children cared for the tree, excited at the prospect of having a Christmas tree by winter. The tree grew, but when Christmas Eve arrived, they could not afford to decorate it. The children sadly went to bed and fell asleep. Early the next morning, they woke up and saw the tree covered with cobwebs. When they opened the windows, the first rays of sunlight touched the webs and turned them into gold and silver. The widow and her children were overjoyed. From then on, they never lived in poverty again.

There are a few other versions but basically your Christmas Tree should welcome a spider’s web and perhaps even a spider, of course, my mom would rather die first.  Some say you will have good luck the rest of the year if you have a spider in your tree. For me, I believe I will stick with my beaded spider that my very creative grandmother made. Merry Christmas, and hope all of you have a Blessed and Prosperous new year!