The Legend Of The Christmas Spider

Wolf Spider in a home

Why People Put Spider Ornaments on their Christmas Tree

Once Halloween is over, most people don't think about incorporating spiders into their home decor. In fact, spiders and homes are two things we typically prefer not to mix at all. But in some cultures, like Ukraine and Germany, it is common around the holidays to see Christmas trees adorned with ornaments of golden, glimmering spiders. This practice has its origins in the legend of the Christmas spider.

The legend, which is thought to have originated in Ukraine as many as 200 years ago, has shaped people's view of the insects as symbols of good fortune.  Though there are many variations, the legend of the Christmas spider goes something like this:

There once was a widow living in her cramped, cold hut with her children. One day, a pine cone dropped from the tree outside and took root. The children, excited by the prospect of a tree for Christmas, tended the seedling and made plans about how they would decorate the tree. Poverty was a way of life for the small family, and when Christmas approached, the widow knew that they would not be able to decorate the tree. The children and the widow accepted their fate and went to bed on Christmas Eve, the tiny tree branches bare.

But the household’s spiders heard the children’s sobs and spun intricate webs on the tree. Early on Christmas morning, the children cried, “Mother, mother wake up and see the tree. It is beautiful!” The widow rose to find that during the cold night a spider had spun its web around the fragile branches. As the rays of the sun crept along the floor and silently climbed the tree, the glow touched the threads of the web turning each one into silver and gold. And from that day forward, the widow and her children never wanted for anything.

The legend of the Christmas spider is a beautiful story and a wonderful sentiment. But you just might want to check your tree and make sure that the only spiders you find are ornamental and the only cobwebs you see are tinsel. If your spiders crawl or your cobwebs are grey instead of golden, it's no Christmas legend you're dealing with. Be sure to shake your tree vigorously before bringing it inside, and give Conquistador Pest & Termite a call for a free inspection.

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