THE LEGEND OF THE CHRISTMAS SPIDER
A folk legend from Germany and the Ukraine
Once upon a time long ago, a mother was busily cleaning the house getting ready for Christmas. Not a speck of dust was left. Even the spiders were banished from their cozy corners in the ceiling and finally fled to the attic.
T’was Christmas Eve at last! The tree was all decorated for the children to see it. The poor spiders were frantic because they could not see the tree or be present for the celebration.
The oldest and wisest spider suggested that they could peep through the crack in the door. Silently they crept out of the attic, down the stairs, and across the floor to wait at the threshold. Suddenly the door opened a wee bit and quickly the spiders scurried into the room. They wanted to see the tree closely, since their eyes were not accustomed to the brightness of the room. They crept all over the tree, up and down, over every branch and twig and saw every pretty thing. At last they satisfied themselves completely of the Christmas tree beauty.
But Alas!! Everywhere they went they had left their webs 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 shimmering silver and gold! Ever since that time, we have hung tinsel on Christmas trees, and according to the legend, it has been a custom to include a spider among the decorations on the tree.