The story of the Christmas spider, which can be traced back to Eastern Europe (especially Germany and the Ukraine) has many different versions, but all celebrate kindness, charity and gratitude, as well as those who work quietly to make the world a better place.
Sharing the story with family is a timeless Christmas tradition!
The Legend of the Christmas Spider
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!
If you love the story of the Christmas spider and want to share it with your family, Trinka Hakes Noble’s A Christmas Spider’s Miracle is a beautiful book.
Why Hang a Spider Ornament?
The spider Christmas ornaments help remind us of the spider’s act of charity, and how it’s important to be kind to others. The legend has also given spiders a reputation for being lucky, so hanging a spider ornament on your Christmas tree will bring good things to your family!
You can buy a Christmas spider at your local Christkindlmarket or on Amazon.
Bonus: The Origin of Tinsel
I’ve heard that the Christmas spider story is also the origin story for tinsel. Sure, tinsel looks like icicles hanging from a wintry evergreen, but it also can look very much like the webs the mama spider would have spun. Think about it while you bake a batch of spritz cookies!
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