Saturday, December 1, 2007

..of tinsel and spider webs....

Our family has always enjoyed legends and stories. Here is one of our Christmas favorites.

When Joseph and Mary & Jesus were on thier way to Egypt, the story runs, as the evening came they were weary, and they sought refuge in a cave. It was very cold, so cold that the ground was white with hoar frost.
A little spider saw the little baby Jesus, and he wished so much that he could do something for him to keep him warm in the cold night. He decided to do the only thing he could do, to spin his web across the entrance of the cave, to make, as it were, a curtain there.
Along the path there came a detachment of Herod's soldiers, seeking for children to kill to carry out Herod's bloodthirsty order. When they came to the cave, they were about to burst in to search it, to see if anyone was hiding there, but their captian noticed the spiders's web.--It was streatched right across the entrance to the cave.
"Look," he asid, "at the spider's web there. It is quite unbroken and there cannot possibly be anyone in the cave, for anyone entering the cave would certainly have torn the web."
So the soldiers passed on, and left the holy family in peace because a little spider had spun his web across the entrance to the cave.
And that, so they say, is why to this day we put tinsel on our Christmas trees, for the glittering tinsel streamers stand for the spiders web, white with the hoar frost, stretched across the cave on the way to Egypt. It is a a lovely story, and this much, at least, is true, that no gift which Jesus receives is ever forgotten.
-William Barclay-