The Legend of the Christmas Spider

I know what you are thinking….spiders?!  At Christmas?! Spiders are for Halloween.  Well, not in all parts of the world.  There are stories in Eastern Europe, usually from the Ukraine, that tell of a Christmas spider and people will include a spider ornament on their Christmas tree.Christmas spider ornament on tree

There is more than one story out there, so you can choose your favorite.

Version One:

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.

Version Two:

A long time ago a mother was cleaning for Christmas. Spiders fled up to the attic to escape the broom. On quiet Christmas Eve, the spiders slowly came down for a peek.  “Oh, what a beautiful tree!” In excitement, they scurried up and out along each branch. They were filled with happiness as they climbed amongst the glittering beauty. But alas! By the time they were done, the tree was shrouded in their dusty, grey web. When Santa came with gifts for the children and saw the tree covered with spider webs, he smiled because he saw how happy the spiders were, but knew how heartbroken the mother would be if she saw it covered in dusty webs.  So he turned the webs into strands of silver and the tree was even more beautiful than before. That’s the story of tinsel on trees and why every tree should have a Christmas spider in its branches.

Christmas spider ornament on treeVersion Three:

The story is about two mothers—one a peasant woman, the other a mama spider—both struggling to provide for their young children. On Christmas Eve, the woman went into the forest and came back with a small fir to serve as a Christmas tree. She discovered that a spider had made a home for her babies among the fir’s branches, but the woman didn’t have the heart to sweep them away. The spider discovered that the woman was too poor to decorate the tree, let alone place presents beneath it, and hatched a plan out of gratitude and kindness. Later that night, when the woman and her children went to bed, the spider spun sparkling webs all throughout the fir tree’s branches. In the morning, the children woke up to the thrilling sight of a Christmas tree draped in the most exquisite, shimmering gossamer!


Do you have a spider ornament on your tree?  Of course, I have TWO on mine….one on a web and the other by itself.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!!


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