Saturday, November 28, 2009
On Christmas eve, a long time ago, a gentle mother was busily cleaning the house for the most wonderful day of the year... Christmas day, the day on which the little Christ child came to bless the house. Not a speck of dust was left. Even the spiders had been banished from their cozy corner on the ceiling. They had fled to the farthest corner of the attic.
The Christmas tree was beautifully decorated. The poor spiders were frantic, for they could not see the tree, nor be present for the little Christ child's visit. Then the oldest and wisest spider suggested that perhaps they could wait until everyone went to bed and then get a closer look.
When the house was dark and silent, the spiders crept out of their hiding place. When they neared the Christmas tree, they were delighted with the beauty of it. The spiders crept all over the tree, up and down, over the branches and twigs and saw every one of the pretty things.
The spiders loved the Christmas tree. All night long they danced in the branches, leaving them covered with spider webs. In the morning, when the little Christ child came to bless the house, he was dismayed! He loved the little spiders for they were God's creatures, but he knew the mother, who had worked so hard to make everything perfect, would not be pleased when she saw what the spiders had done.
With love in his heart and a smile on his lips, the little Christ child reached out and gently touched the spider webs. The spider webs started to sparkle and shine! They had all turned into sparkling, shimmering silver and gold.
According to legend, ever since this happened, people have hung tinsel on their Christmas trees. It has also become a custom to include a spider among the decorations on the Christmas tree.
A version of this story can be found in Shirley Climo's picture book "A Cobweb Christmas".
The first set of directions below comes from eHow.com
I have also included links for 2 sites with really good step by step directions and wonderful pictures.
How to Make a Christmas Spider Ornament
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.
Things You'll Need:
Beads sizes-6mm and 10mm
Wire - make sure it will fit through the bead holes
Use pipe cleaners and plastic beads if working with younger children.
They can make their own spiders with these materials.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This site has step by step directions for a beautiful beaded Christmas Spider.
PolkaDotCreations.com has a fabulous tutorial on making Polymer Clay Christmas Spiders