Many years ago I came across this tale from Ukrainian folklore and it made my heart happy. I had never thought to have a spider on my tree however, until about 6 years ago when I saw a picture on a craft page of a beautiful crystal spider made with beads in dazzling colours and decided to make my own. He now nestles every year amongst the branches hidden with all my other special little treasures collected with love.
Here is the story of hope, love and magic at this special time of year.
Once upon a time there lived a very poor widow with her beautiful children in a cramped derelict old hut that was sheltered by a huge magnificent pine tree. To the delight of the children one day the tree dropped a pine cone that soon started to grow. Tenderly the children cared for the little tree thrilled at the prospect of having a Christmas tree, and so they tended to it, eagerly awaiting the day it would finally be big enough to take inside their home and brighten their dull surroundings at the special time of year.
The family were very poor and the tree was to be the only adornment in the sad sparse house. There would be no other decorations for the children to marvel at. At last it was Christmas eve, the widow and her children cleaned and swept the bare little hut and stood the tree in pride of place. The spiders had hidden in the attic while all the hustle and bustle occurred , watching the poor children with sad eyes as they went to bed knowing that they would have a bare tree on Christmas morning.Silently the spiders crept out of their attic, down the stairs, and across the floor and scurried into the room. All over the tree, up and down, over every branch and twig the spiders created beautiful webs on the Christmas tree, decorating it with elegant and beautiful silky patterns.
When the widow awoke she stared at the tree in wonder, truly amazed at the sight that lay before her.Early morning rays of the sun shone on the tree, the webs turned into glittering silver and gold making the little tree dazzle and sparkle with a magical twinkle.
From that day forward the widow and her children never felt poor, instead always grateful for all the wonderful gifts in their lives already.
Ever since that time, we have hung tinsel on our Christmas trees, and according to the legend, it has been a custom to include a spider among the decorations on the tree.