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[The Night Before Christmas]

The Legend of the Christmas Spider

[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 Christ Child 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.

'Twas Christmas Eve at last! The tree was decorated
and waiting for the children to see it.
But the poor spiders were frantic,
for they could not see the tree, nor be present for
the Christ Child'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.

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.

The Christ Child smiled as He thought of the happy
spiders seeing His 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.

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 tree.


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Painting "The Night Before Christmas" by Sandra Kuck
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