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Huge Holiday Spider in Woodstock recalls legend, sparks reading

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One Christmas decorating idea in Inner Southeast this year had the potential to really startle passers-by

RITA A. LEONARD - This huge red-nosed and antlered Christmas spider was an offbeat seasonal decoration in Woodstock in December. An enormous Christmas spider and its web graced a home at 4355 S.E. 42nd Avenue during the Holidays. While "Rudolf the Red-nosed Spider", which also sported antlers, provided a striking alternative to the usual seasonal décor, there is actually a legend about Christmas spiders that originated in Germany.

According to the story, a mother was cleaning her home for Christmas, and banished all the spiders and their webs in order to focus on the tree. After nightfall, the spiders sneaked back to see the wonderful decorations, leaving their webs all over the branches. When Santa, or the Christ child, arrived, He blessed the tree, turning all the webs to silver and gold – and that legend is actually the reason why we hang tinsel on the tree.

However, we at THE BEE also noticed a "Little Free Library" posted right near the spider. We like to think that Charlotte, from E. B. White's "Charlotte's Web", is the arachnid depicted here, inviting children to read and become tangled in a web of learning.

Although the Holiday season has passed, classic tales and nature stories can nourish a special "web of knowledge" that will last a lifetime. And that may be the lesson this particular spectacular Christmas decoration was attempting to teach.