If you’ve ever gazed at the beautiful tinsel sparkling on your Christmas Tree and wondered who came up with idea of decorating the tree in this way, wonder no longer. According to the legend, it signifies a Christmas miracle from many years ago.
The Legend of the Christmas Spider is a Eastern European folk tale which supposedly explains the origin of hanging tinsel on Christmas trees. The exact origins of the folk tale are unknown, but it is believed to have come from either Germany or Ukraine.
Legend of the Christmas Spider
Once upon a time, there was a widow who lived in a small house with her children. It was the Night Before Christmas. The children tucked in their beds when the widow was doing her Christmas Eve cleaning. The resident spiders, not wanting to be swept up with the broom, hid up in the corners where the walls met the ceiling.
When she finished cleaning, the mother gazed at the family Christmas tree, feeling sadness for her three young children. She could not afford the colored lights and beautiful glass ornaments that adorned the Christmas trees they'd seen in the store windows in town.
She did her best, decorating it with fruit and ribbons making it as beautiful as could be.
There was one young spider who had been watching her from the corner. He felt sadness too so he decided he would help the mother decorate the tree. When midnight came and the widow was settled into bed, he hopped down and began spinning his web around it. Soon the other spiders decided to join in. They were so excited that they ran all over the tree. They scurried up the trunk and leapt from branch to branch.
Unfortunately they had left their mark. A gray spider web now covered the whole tree.
When Santa arrived, he was touched by the love the young spider had for the widow and the children, and amused to see the tree covered in spider webs. Now he faced a dilemma. The mother would be surely disappointed to see their beautiful tree all wrapped in the webs, but the spiders were so pleased with their handiwork that he did not have the heart to take it down. What could he do?
He thought and thought and came up with a wonderful solution. He waved a magic hand and turned all the webs into beautiful shimmering silver strands. When the family awoke on Christmas Morning they ran to the living room and saw their tree sparking and glittering in the morning sun. Their delight was unsurpassed. They had never seen such a beautiful tree. Only the mother knew that a true Christmas miracle had occurred overnight.
From that day on tinsel became a treasured ornament for trees all over the world. Those who know the legend make sure that they give thanks to the industrious spiders by hanging a beautiful spider ornament in a prominent location on their tree.
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