Spiders make unique Christmas characters

Vernon. Laura Branigan of Highland Lakes hand crafts spider tree ornaments to celebrate legend of Christmas spiders.

Newton /
07 Nov 2019 | 01:58

With the Halloween season passed, creepy spiders now have a second occupation as unique Christmas characters that have become legendary.

Laura Branigan of Highland Lakes, known as the Spider Lady, has embraced the Christmas Spider Legend and hand crafts spider tree ornaments, using a unique assortment of 120 coordinated beads.

“I pick a mixture of solid, glass, opaque, metallic, round, stone, seed, crystal, bugle, rice, pearl, oval and rondelle beads to create a beautiful one-of-a-kind spider,” Branigan said.

Rivaling the Christmas Pickle, the Christmas Spider has origins in Eastern Europe, namely, Poland, The Ukraine, Russia, Germany and the Nordic countries. The Legend of the Christmas Spider varies slightly as word of mouth legends do. As the legend goes a poor widow and her children had a pine tree sprout and grow on their earthen hut floor. They were excited that they would have a Christmas tree but when Christmas Eve arrived, they couldn’t afford to decorate the tree. Friendly house spiders spun their webs on the tree and when the bright sunshine hit the tree Christmas morning, the webs transformed into gold and silver. The widow and her children were overjoyed and never lived in poverty again.

Elaborating on the legend, it’s also good luck to find a spider web on your Christmas tree and bad luck to destroy a web before the spider is safely out. Ukrainians create spider shape ornaments called pavuchky.

Branigan’s spider table at the Highland Lakes Craft Fair held over the weekend was doing a brisk and steady business.

Custom Crafts by Laura will be in attendance at local upcoming craft fairs, future dates are November 15 at Bristol Glen in Newton, November 16 at the Glenwood Baptist Church and other locations in Bergen and Passaic Counties. She can also be e-mailed at craftyfingers4u@gmail.com.