Saturday, December 7, 2019
The Legend of the Christmas Spider
You may have seen spider ornaments on Christmas trees before, and may have just assumed they were a goth ornament or leftovers from Halloween, but did you know that spiders actually have a long history of being placed on Christmas trees due to Eastern European folk tales? The legend of the Christmas spider dates back to the late 1800s or early 1900s and is believed to be of Ukranian origin, though the story can also be found in parts of Germany, Poland, and Russia. It is also credited as being the origin of hanging tinsel on Christmas trees.
I love the story of the Christmas Spider and its message of charity and goodwill. The Christmas Spider celebrates kindness to all living things, the magic of giving, and those that work quietly in the background to bring joy to others. The legend of the Christmas Spider is as follows:
A poor, hardworking peasant woman lives in a small hut with her children. During Christmastime, the family cannot afford to decorate their Christmas tree (in some re-tellings, the widow ventures into the forest to find a small tree for her family, in others the tree grows inside their hut from a pine cone that took root in the hut's floor during the summer, and the children took care of and nourished the tree so it would grow in time for Christmas). In either variation, the tree is found to house a spider and her own babies. Instead of killing or removing the spider family, the human family shares the Christmas tree with the spiders. On Christmas Eve, the family is too poor to afford Christmas decorations and so they go to sleep disappointed by their bare tree. Early on Christmas morning, they wake up and are overjoyed to discover the tree covered with shimmering cobwebs, glittering gold and silver in the sunlight.
Nowadays, spiders are hung on Christmas trees as a reminder to spin magic for others and as a sign of good luck.
The Christmas Spider story is a wonderful one to share with your family this Creepmas - the storybook A Christmas Spider's Miracle by Trinka Hakes Noble is a great pick!
You can also get your very own Christmas spider ornament on Amazon!
Do you have a spider ornament on your tree?