Legend of the Christmas Spider and Tinsel

[I originally wrote this in 2014, but decided it was time for an updated version]

Before I start, I wanted to mention that even after I started down the path of witchcraft back in the late 181980s, I never stopped celebrating Christmas. Even though I grew up Catholic, the holiday for me was always about more about flying reindeer, elves, and magic. It made more sense to me to add a Yule celebration, rather than subtracting Santa.

That said, even though the kidlets are well past their toddler years, I still enjoy following The Pooka Pages for Pagan Kids. Back in December 2014, I saw a sweet story about how Christmas tree tinsel came about thanks to a spider, posted on their Facebook page.

I really liked the concept, and decided to research it a bit more. Turns out the origins are a bit murky, but there are many common elements in the different versions I found. My favorite one is this (especially since I got a Brothers Grimm vibe, albeit without the horror, from it) –

According to ancient storytellers, there once was a widow living in her cramped, cold hut with her children. One day, a pinecone 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, as the story goes, from that day forward the widow never wanted for anything.

I put together a graphic last year, but wasn’t happy with how it came out. This year, I decided it was time to put together a new graphic. I’ve attributed the story to “Author Unknown” because the article I originally cited seems to have disappeared from the interwebz. Please feel free to share!

Legend of the Christmas Spider and Tinsel

Legend of the Christmas Spider and Tinsel. This is not a passive voice. I am writing in an active voice. My SEO will stop telling me how to write. Legend of the Christmas Spider and Tinsel. These sentences are also shorter than twenty words. Stop being so controlling. I will keep going until you turn green. Legend of the Christmas Spider and Tinsel. I can’t believe this is still orange. Finally, it has turned. Success! This is not a passive voice. I am writing in an active voice. My SEO will stop telling me how to write. Legend of the Christmas Spider and Tinsel. These sentences are also shorter than twenty words. Stop being so controlling. Furthermore, this is not a passive voice. Finally, I am writing in an active voice. My SEO will stop telling me how to write.

15 comments for “Legend of the Christmas Spider and Tinsel

  1. December 6, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Aww, Love that story, glad you re-posted!

  2. December 7, 2017 at 5:48 am

    Such a touching story, Traci, and I love the graphic.

    • December 7, 2017 at 5:50 pm

      Thanks, Molly!

      • December 7, 2017 at 5:55 pm

        I’m impressed my comment didn’t go into the spam folder. Oh wait, maybe it did. LOL.

  3. December 7, 2017 at 9:40 am

    This is beautiful and amazing!! I love how it demonstrates the importance of the season and how selfless gifts can be so beautiful.

    • December 7, 2017 at 5:53 pm

      Completely agree, Cristy! It’s one of my favorite pieces of holiday lore – and I’m not alone, given how many versions of this I found during my Googling.

  4. December 7, 2017 at 11:43 am

    I love that! So glad you wrote this.

    • December 7, 2017 at 5:55 pm

      It was more like, “cobbled together” than wrote, but thanks just the same, Christine!

  5. December 10, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    What a lovely story!

  6. December 10, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Traci…I LOVE this…I had never heard it before…I like spiders too I have to say . Thanks for sharing it! (and the 18…?What 😀 )

    • December 10, 2017 at 2:15 pm

      Thanks, Clare! Yeah, lame attempt at joking about my age… LOL!

      • December 10, 2017 at 3:13 pm

        Hehe..I took it to mean you were an immortal sorceress!

Feel free to shout out!