In October, we explored spider myths and legends from around the world, and there was one I think is worth retelling for Christmas: the legend of the Christmas spider.
This legend is most often cited from Germany or Ukraine, and could even be an origin tale for tinsel! In becoming more familiar with this story I read several different versions, but here is the one I liked the best:
There once was a widow who lived in a cramped old hut. She lived with her children. Outside their home was a tall pine tree. From the tree dropped a pine cone that soon started to grow from the soil.
The children were excited about the prospect of having a Christmas tree, and so they tended to it, ensuring that it would continue to grow and be strong until it became tall enough to be a Christmas tree to take inside their home.
Unfortunately, the family was poor and even though they had a Christmas tree, they couldn’t afford to decorate it with ornaments for Christmas. And so on Christmas Eve, the widow and her children went to bed knowing that they would have a bare Christmas tree on Christmas morning.
The spiders in the hut heard the sobs of the children and sad cries, and decided they would not leave the Christmas tree bare.
So the spiders created beautiful webs on the Christmas tree, decorating it with elegant and beautiful silky patterns.
When the children woke up early on Christmas morning they were jumping for excitement. They went to their mother and woke her up. “Mother, you have to come see the Christmas tree. It’s so beautiful!”
As the mother woke and stood in front of the tree, she was truly amazed at the sight that lay before her eyes.
One of the children opened up the window as the sun was shining. The sun would slide along the floor and slowly glide up the Christmas tree and onto the webs. As the rays of the sun shone on the tree, the webs turned into glittering silver and gold colour; making the Christmas tree dazzle and sparkle with a magical twinkle.
From that day forward the widow never felt poor, instead she was always grateful for all the wonderful gifts she already had in life.
(Thanks to the Vancouver Christmas Market for this version!)
If you’ve ever encountered a spider web in the forest, at sunrise or sunset, perhaps glittering with dew, you know how beautiful they can be.
In Ukraine, Poland, and Germany, spiders are considered to bring good fortune, and often families will make sure their tree plays host to a beautiful spider Christmas ornament.
Whatever your holiday traditions may be, I hope they’re filled with joy, togetherness, and yes–good fortune.
Happy Holidays from the UPC Family!
Todd Stebleton is the owner and operator of Universal Pest Control, a family-owned business for over 25 years in Ormond Beach, Florida. He and his wife Natalie are proud to have built a company focused on conducting business with honesty and integrity: keeping customers first, protecting the environment, and providing trustworthy, personal service.
Universal: Honest, Environmentally Friendly Pest Control