Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, be plenteous in mercy is to have the real spirit of Christmas. Calvin Coolidge.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Christmas Legend : "Christmas Spider".


Legend of the Christmas Spider


Long, long ago, on one Christmas Eve, the spiders were banished from homes while the houses were cleaned for Christmas and their webs were broken. They just managed to survive and had to move to the farthest corner of the attic for the time being. However, some of the young spiders longed to see the decorated Christmas trees and the little Christ child that came to bless the homes in the midnight. The elders tried to make them understand that they were not allowed inside the rooms but the young spiders were quite curious and adamant. Finally, the oldest and wisest spider came up with a solution and suggested that in the night, when everybody went to bed, perhaps they could creep out of their corners and get a closer look of the magical Christmas tree.


Even the adult spiders felt the thrill of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them and in midnight, when the house of a noble family was dark and silent and everybody was fast asleep, spiders crept out of their hiding place and slowly reached the Christmas tree. They were so captivated by the ethereal beauty that they spent all night in the tree, crawling up and down and examining its beautiful ornaments. They could not curb their urge to weave pretty and delicate spider webs all over the tree as they danced on its branches. In the wee hours of the morning, the little Christ child came to bless the house. He was surprised to find little spiders and their webs on the tree.

He knew that every creature was made by God and yet he knew how the mother who had worked hard all day to make everything perfect would be dismayed to find the spider webs on its tree. Thus, with a heart full of love and a lovely bewitching smile on his lips, the Christ child gently touched the spider webs and set them sparkling and shining in silver and golden colors that made the Christmas tree look even more beautiful than before. It is said that this is how tinsel was introduced to decorate Christmas trees. Some people also hang a plastic spider in remembrance of the devoted little spiders who worked hard that Christmas Eve.

8 comments:

  1. Christmas spider Ornament Craft

    Age Guideline: 8 Years and Up
    Time Required: 30 minutes (Does not include drying time)

    The above age and time guidelines are estimates. This project can be modified to suit other ages and may take more or less time depending on your circumstances.



    Materials Needed:

    12 mm faceted crystal bead
    10 mm faceted crystal bead
    32 small crystal bugle beads
    26 guage wire
    Metallic thread
    Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
    Christmas Spider Legend

    Instructions:
    Hot glue the 12 mm and a 10 mm faceted crystal bead together hole to hole. Cut 4 wires, approximately 3-4 inches long, and string each wire with 8 small crystal bugle beads. Leave about a 1/2 inch gap between the first 4 beads and the last 4 beads. Bend the ends of the wire so the beads won't fall off. Twist the 4 wires together at the 1/2 inch gap, forming 8 legs. Hot glue the twisted section of the legs to the underside of the crystal beads, right where the 2 crystal beads join together.

    Take aproximately 10" of silver metallic thread and tie it around the middle of the spider , and tie the ends together to make a loop for hanging. Bend legs to look like a spider.

    These spiders are adorable and very simple to make!

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  2. Origins

    This legend originated in Germany and the Ukraine. The story said that a poor widow had a tree but nothing for decorations. They went to bed on Christmas Eve. Spiders wove webs in the branches while the family slept. When they arose, they saw the web covered tree. The sun came up and the first rays turned the webs to gold, creating the loveliest of all trees. As the story passed down the generations, it evolved into a legend.

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  3. (Another Tale from Germany)
    Another story comes from Germany about spiders and Christmas trees. Long ago families allowed their animals to come inside and view the Christmas trees on Christmas Eve. Because the Christ Child was born in a stable, they felt that the animals should take part in the Christmas celebration. But spiders weren’t allowed because housewives didn’t want cobwebs all over everything. of course the spiders were unhappy about this, so one year they complained to the Christ Child. He felt sorry for them and decided that late at night He would let them in to see the trees. The excited spiders loved the Christmas trees and all night long they crawled about in the branches, leaving them covered with webs. On Christmas morning the housewives saw what the spiders had done. But instead of being angry, they were delighted. For in the night the Christ Child had turned all of the cobwebs into sparkling tinsel. And even today, tinsel is often used to decorate Christmas trees to add that same sparkle the Christ Child gave the cobwebs long ago, in Germany.

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  4. Facts and Information about the Christmas Spider

    Common Name and Latin Name
    The Common Name and Latin Name are as follows:
    Common Name (s): Christmas Spider, Spiny spider, Jewel spider
    Latin Name: Austracantha minax

    Christmas Spider identification - what does it look like?
    The Christmas spider has a shield like abdomen that can be coloured in a range of yellows to reds, they also have, normally six black spines protruding from their shield like abdomen.

    What do the Christmas Spider eat? What is its prey?
    The Christmas spiders main source of food, are flying insects caught in their webs.

    Is the Christmas Spider poisonous?
    All types (except Uloboridae) are poisonous! Christmas spiders are not deadly to humans but if bitten, can cause mild, local pain. They, like most spiders will move away from people trying to avoid contact.

    How big is the Christmas Spider?
    Christmas Spider can grow any were between 2mm to 6mm in female spiders and 2mm to 3mm in male spiders.

    Where does the Christmas Spider live, what is its habitat?
    The Christmas Spider can be found in:
    Australia
    Queensland
    Tropical rainforest habitats
    They build orb webs about a meter or two of the ground.

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  5. Christmas Spider is one such renowned character associated with this winter festival. It is a neatly knit fable that seeks to add a joyous spirit to the festival of Christmas. It is a story that speaks about magic and miracles, having faith and believing in God. No wonder that it is quite a favorite among children! It also gives a moral that hard work and good intentions do pay off in the long run. Though this story has various versions linked to it, the most popular one is elaborated below.

    The Story
    This story is about a poor widow who could not afford to buy gifts for her children, but still wanted them to have the best Christmas ever. So, after putting her children to bed, she cut a tree herself and placed it in the house. She then cleaned the house and decorated the tree with lots of joy and happiness. After having done so much work, she was exhausted and soon fell asleep. She had cleaned her house so well that it was spotless and there were no spiders or cob webs to be seen; not even a single speck of dust. All the spiders had fled to the attic but they were curious to see the decorated Christmas tree. So, the oldest and the wisest spider suggested that they sneak out of the attic to have a look at the beautifully decorated Christmas tree. Once the attic door was opened, the spiders quickly made their way out and headed towards the Christmas tree. The tree was so huge and so tall that they could only see one decoration placed on top of it. So, they started climbing the tree leaving trails of a dull gray web behind them. Eventually, the entire tree was covered with dusty gray spider webs.

    The Christ child saw what the little spiders had done to the Christmas tree and, though he was glad that the spiders had seen the decorated Christmas tree, he was quite worried that the mother would never be happy to see her decorated tree covered with webs. She had worked very hard to decorate that tree and wanted her children to have a fun time around it. So, he touched the dusty webs that the spiders had left behind and turned them into gold and silver. On the following day, the family woke up only to see a Christmas tree glittering with gold and silver.

    The story of the Christmas spider has taught us that it is important to be hardworking and that anything done with good intentions doesn't go unnoticed and is thoroughly rewarded. Commemorating this legend even to this day, people decorate their trees with tinsel and put an artificial spider on the tree.

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  6. The Christmas Spider serves as a holiday tradition for many people. It makes a wonderful gift and can be easily made using anything from inexpensive beads to crystal beads. Give it as a gift or hang it on your Christmas tree. Follow these steps to learn to make a Christmas Spider

    Instructions


    1. Get two beads, a 6 mm and a 10 mm size, to use for the body and the head. String them onto the wire. First string the bigger bead for the body then the smaller bead as the head.

    2. Make sure that the wire you chose is thin enough to fit through the beads but soft enough to be bendable. A 20 half-hard gauge size works. Full-hard gauge may be too stiff to properly shape and bend.

    3. Cut four 6-inch lengths of wire to form the legs. For smaller spiders, use two wires to make four legs. Wrap all four wires together in the middle and wrap once between the body and head beads. Pull tightly to secure around the main wire.

    4. Arrange the wrapped wires that form legs in the form you desire. You can bead these legs as well, using 3- or 4-mm beads or seed beads with bugle beads as the legs themselves. To make the beaded legs, add the beads you have chosen by pushing them securely against the body and making a bend at the end of the wire to hold the beads on it.

    5. Use pipe cleaners and plastic beads if working with younger children. They can make their own spiders with these materials.



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  7. There is a nice book for children, called "A Christmas Spider's Miracle" by Trinka Hakes Noble, Stephen Costanza (Illustrator.

    A little about it: Long ago in a faraway place there lived two mothers. One, a humble peasant woman who struggled daily to provide for her children. And the other, a mother spider who also worked hard to care for her family. And although it would appear they were as different as night and day, these two mothers had more in common than would first seem.
    As the only holiday gift she can give her children, one cold Christmas Eve the peasant woman goes to the forest to get a tree, never noticing that someone has made a home among its branches. During the night, the mother spider spins webs decorating the tree, resulting in a Christmas that neither mother will ever forget.

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