The last ornament you expect to see on a person’s Christmas tree is one in the shape of a spider. But if you happen to see one glistening against the lit-up pine tree, there’s a reason behind it.

Much like the pickle ornament, which is said to be an old German tradition, the story of the spider ornament comes from an old Ukrainian tradition.

According to the Vancouver Christmas Market, the story begins with a poor widow and her children who lived in a cramped hut:

Outside their home was a tall pine tree. From the tree dropped a pine cone that soon started to grow from the soil.

The children were excited about the prospect of having a Christmas tree, and so they tended to it, ensuring that it would continue to grow and be strong until it became tall enough to be a Christmas tree to take inside their home.

Unfortunately, the family was poor and even though they had a Christmas tree, they couldn’t afford to decorate it with ornaments for Christmas. And so on Christmas Eve, the widow and her children went to bed knowing that they would have a bare Christmas tree on Christmas morning.

And this is where the spider comes into play.

As the story continues, while the family was sleeping, a team of “good spiders” spun webs all around the naked tree:

The spiders in the hut heard the sobs of the children and decided they would not leave the Christmas tree bare. So the spiders created beautiful webs on the Christmas tree, decorating it with elegant and beautiful silky patterns.

When the children woke up early on Christmas morning they were jumping for excitement. They went to their mother and woke her up. “Mother, you have to come see the Christmas tree. It’s so beautiful!”

As the mother woke and stood in front of the tree, she was truly amazed at the sight that lay before her eyes.

One of the children opened up the window as the sun was shining. The sun would slide along the floor and slowly glide up the Christmas tree and onto the webs. As the rays of the sun shone on the tree, the webs turned into glittering silver and gold color; making the Christmas tree dazzle and sparkle with a magical twinkle.

From that day forward the widow never felt poor, instead, she was always grateful for all the wonderful gifts she already had in life.

Other versions of the story suggest that while the spiders had good intentions, the webs didn’t glow until Santa Claus, or Jesus, adjusted the colors of the webs to gleam silver and gold, as Good Housekeeping wrote.

It is now believed that if you put a spider-shaped ornament on your Christmas tree, as the Vancouver Christmas Market wrote, it will bring you “good fortune and luck for the upcoming year.”

Who else is running out to the nearest Christmas store to find a spider for their tree?

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