When it comes to Christmas, we all can identify a few classic decorations we are all used to seeing. There are, of course, reindeer, elves, snowmen, and obviously the manger scene.
But there's one type of ornament that catches some people off guard, even though the tradition goes back a long, long, ways.
If you see a spider ornament on a tree, it's not because the person just prefers Halloween, there is actually a beautiful folklore surrounding Christmas spiders, and its said to originate in either Germany or the Ukraine.
While it's tricky to learn the true origins of the legend, the moral of the story remains. There are thought to be a few versions, but here is how the most popular version goes:
The Spider and the Christmas Tree
A widow lived with her children in a small hut, but they didn't have much money. One year the children noticed that a pine cone had fallen and a new tree was growing, and they got excited that they may get to have a Christmas tree of their own.
The children made sure the tree grew well, and when it was finally time to cut it down and bring it inside, they were so happy.
However, when they brought it in, they were a little bit disappointed knowing that despite all their efforts, they couldn't afford to decorate the tree.
The plain pine stood in their living room, and the widow was sad knowing that her children wouldn't get the beautiful tree they had wanted.
The spiders in their hut heard the cries from the children and the widow, and that's when they decided they would help.
The tiny insects worked through the night and strung webs across the tree in beautiful patterns, using their webs to create the silky images.
When the children woke up they couldn't believe their eyes, the tree was decorated in a beautiful and unique way they could never had imagined.
They called their mother to come see it, and as she stood looking at the tree, one of the children opened a window, letting in a ray of sunlight that caused the webs to sparkle in a magical way.
The act of kindness from the spiders gave the family so much joy and helped them feel grateful for all that they have.
The Tradition Continues
As with most folklore, the legend changes as it is passed down, but one thing that has remained is that the spiders decorated the tree for the family that needed it most.
Now, as a way to remember that finding joy in the simple things is more important than having a bunch of money, people place beautiful spider ornaments on their trees.
You can find these ornaments all over the place, and we've found a few that you can add to your tree.