History of the Spider Ornament

Have you ever been to someone’s house around Christmas time and seen a spider ornament hanging from their tree? After seeing several bejeweled spider ornaments recently we figured there must be a story behind it, so we did a little research and discovered that the spider ornament is actually part of a lovely eastern European tradition.

As (Ukrainian) legend has it, there was once a poor widow living with her children in a small shack. They nurtured a small pine tree outside until it was big enough to use as their Christmas tree, but they could not afford decorations or ornaments. Nestled into that Christmas tree, however, was a friendly family of spiders. Hearing the sad cries of the children as they lamented not having any ornaments for the tree, the spider family decided to spin their webs around the tree while the family slept, covering it from top to bottom with silky strands.

When the family woke on Christmas morning, the widow opened the door to let the sun shine in and light the tree, illuminating the spider webs and turning them gold and silver. The mother and her children were so struck by the tree’s beauty, they no longer felt badly about the lack of ornaments. From that year on, they looked forward to their simplistic, but beautifully adorned tree, no other decorations needed.

This story has been passed down for many generations, with families reinterpreting it each year and placing their own bedazzled spider ornaments in their Christmas trees as a reminder that you do not need physical possessions to be well-off; being surrounded by loved ones and having the ability to appreciate the natural beauty around us is a true celebration of the season.

What do you think? Would you ever put a spider ornament in your Christmas tree?

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