Spiders are widely accepted as traditional Halloween decorations, taking their place with bats and black cats. But did you know in some parts of the world, such as Germany and Ukraine, spiders are a traditional part of Christmas?
There are several different versions of the legend of the spiders and the Christmas tree, but here is one of the most common: On Christmas eve, a long time ago, a gentle mother was busily cleaning the house for Christmas day, the day on which the little Christ child came to bless the house. Not a speck of dust was left. Even the spiders had been banished from their cozy corner on the ceiling.
The Christmas tree was beautifully decorated. The poor spiders were frantic, for they could not see the tree, nor be present for the little Christ child's visit. Then the oldest and wisest spider suggested that perhaps they could wait until everyone went to bed and then get a closer look.
When the house was dark and silent, the spiders crept out of their hiding place. The spiders loved the Christmas tree. All night long they danced in the branches, leaving them covered with spider webs. In the morning, when the little Christ child came to bless the house, he was dismayed! He loved the little spiders for they were God's creatures, but he knew the mother, who had worked so hard to make everything perfect, would not be pleased when she saw what the spiders had done.
With love in his heart and a smile on his lips, the little Christ child reached out and gently touched the spider webs. The spider webs started to sparkle and shine! They had all turned into sparkling, shimmering silver and gold. According to legend, ever since this happened, people have hung tinsel on their Christmas trees. It has also become a custom to include a spider among the decorations on the Christmas tree.