The Legend of the Christmas Spider
Once upon a time in Germany, long ago, a gentle mother was busily cleaning the house for the most wonderful day of the year.
Not a speck of dust was left on the day when the Saint Nick was to come and bring the gifts of Christmas Eve.
Even the spiders had been banished from their cozy corner in the ceiling to avoid the housewife's busy cleaning.
They finally fled to the farthest corner of the forgotten attic.
You huffed impatiently, shooing the many spiders and cobwebs in your cottage away with your broom. You were a poor maid, struggling to pay the bills and keep your son in school and fed. “Mommy, mommy, look! The spiders are going up to the attic!” Your young, 4 year-old son Kurt was chasing the spiders towards the attic entrance. “Get ‘em, mommy! Quickly, before daddy sees!” You couldn’t help but laugh, the dirt etched into your face moving with your smile. “You’re a good little helper, Kurt.” You held up your index finger and made a shush sound, “Don’t tell daddy, ‘member?” Kurt grinned ear-to-ear at your little ‘secret’. Truth was, your husband had died in the war six months ago. The ‘daddy’ Kurt was referring to was a picture of your husband in his military uniform, smirking triumphantly as he held his newborn son. It was Kurt’s favorite photo of his father, and Kurt linked it with everything good he’d known about his father in the short years they were together. Kurt ran out to the hallway, his arms stretched out, pretending he was an airplane. You fought back tears, knowing this would be the first Christmas Kurt would have without his father present. You still had to put the tree up, and Christmas was four days away! You swiped the last spider, a spindly long leg, up the attic doors and shut it firmly. No way would some stupid spiders ruin your sons Christmas!
'Twas Christmas Eve at last!
The tree was decorated and waiting for the child to see it.
But the poor spiders were frantic, for they could not see the tree, nor be present for Saint Nick's visit.
The oldest and wisest spider suggested that perhaps they could peep through the crack in the door to see Him.
Silently, they crept out of their attic and across the floor to wait in the crack in the threshold.
The mother slept soundly, her son in her arms. The oldest spider, a long leg named Aeson, calmed his brethren down. “Now now, spiders, we shant go about this in a rude way! The mother is just worried, for ‘tis the child’s first Christmas with no father. We’ll have just a peek, we will not make a sound, and we will creep around and not touch a single thing! Aye?” “Aye!” The spiders quietly agreed, eager to drop down from their hiding place and to gaze upon the mother’s beloved Christmas tree. Aeson carefully led the way through the house, ducking into the shadows the furniture cast. They creeped towards the brightly glowing tree, which contained two presents underneath it, both to the son. “Hurry on now, explore the tree, ‘tis really a sight!” Aeson encouraged, pushing a wolf spider named Kai with one long limb. Aeson jumped in himself, and began to run away the tree, staring in awe at all the lights and ornaments strung about.
Suddenly, the door opened a wee bit, and quickly the spiders sneaked into the room. The tree towered so high they couldn't see the ornaments on top.
In fact, their eyes were so small they could see only one ornament at a time.
They scurried up the trunk, out along each branch, filled with a happy wonder at the glittering beauty.
Every place they went they left a trail of dusty, grey web.
When at last they had inspected every bit of the Christmas tree, it was shrouded in a dusty grey of spider webs.
“You fools!” Aeson squeaked upon seeing the mess of webs now tangled into the short and stout tree’s branches. “I thought I made it clear that we leave no trace!” Aeson was about to yell at his companions when a cheery deep voice behind him spoke up. “Fear not, little spiders, I won’t let mother hurt you!” Aeson turned around to see a tall, jolly blonde man with bright sky blue eyes. The man held a sack tossed over his shoulder, and wore a red and white suit with tufty cotton edges. Aeson looked up at the human with fear, “Please, sir, do not crush us!” The man chuckled heartily, “Calm now, Aeson, I wouldn’t hurt a fly! ‘Tis I, Saint Nick, a jolly fellow! I come bringing joy and gifts!” Saint Nick held out his index finger, making Aeson scurry onto it.
Saint Nick smiled as he thought of the happy spiders seeing the tree.
But He knew the mother would not feel the same way and that she would be broken hearted.
So he reached out his hand and touched the webs and blessed them.
They all turned to shimmering, sparkling silver and gold.
The tree glistened in greater beauty than ever before.
“There, my friend, is that so bad? Your wondrous adventures are now safe from the mother’s wrath.” Saint Nick smirked, placing the spider back on the tree. He then proceeded to turn around and dig around in his sack, “Now, what house is this?” Saint Nick pulled out several decorated gifts, all except one addressed to a child named Kurt. The single present was addressed to ______. Saint Nick’s heart stopped, and he blinked several times. He hurriedly and neatly arranged the presents beneath the tree, Then stood up and snooped around the house. He quickly found what he was looking for. A picture with a man smirking, holding a small child in his arms. Saint Nick flipped the picture over and read _______’s handwriting, Ludwig and Kurt. Saint Nick felt a tear roll down his left rosy cheek, and grappled with the urge to visit _______ and Kurt. He finally gave in and tip toed down to his old room, opening the creaky door and watching his wife and son. “There is a little thing you don’t know about Saint Nick, ______.” Saint Nick breathed silently, more tears casually strolling down his cheek. “Everyone has their own Saint Nick.” He then, with a final loving look, shut the door and left to return to his home in heaven. He couldn’t wait for next Christmas to come around so he could see his family again.
Ever since that time, we have hung tinsel on the tree, and according to the story, it has become a custom to include a spider among the decorations on the Christmas tree.