Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Spiders

[This is reposted from last year because it is my favorite Christmas memory. Merry Christmas to all!]

When James was three, he helped me decorate the Christmas tree one evening. The next day while he was at preschool, I realized that we had forgotten the tinsel that we draped over the branches to make it look like icicles. (This was back in the days before we knew that this was not an environmentally friendly decoration.) I quickly tossed a couple of packages of tinsel on the tree and called it good.

When James came home that afternoon, he went about his business, not really paying attention to the tree. But that evening when he walked into the dark room after I had turned on the blazing, multi-colored tree lights, he froze and stared in wide-eyed amazement at the long silvery streamers glittering in the soft air currents. “Shh. The Christmas spiders have been here,” he whispered.

That is a happy memory. This morning I was reminded of it when I encountered several spiders of the summer variety. They seem to be everywhere these days. When I woke up, there was one suspended from the ceiling in the middle of my room, floating like a levitating yogi in the air. I got a cup from downstairs and gently scooped it up and carried it outside to the garden.

When I opened the car door, there was a perfect web stretching from the steering wheel to the driver’s seat. The builder was sitting in the center, ever hopeful in the locked up car. I found a piece of paper and with some regret, destroyed the magnificent creation and carried the spider to the bushes where I thought it would have better luck.

I drove off and had only gone a few blocks when I noticed another web connecting the driver’s side rearview mirror with the car door. The web was already battered by the wind, and the poor little spider was holding on like a bull rider at the rodeo as the web remnants violently vibrated . I tried to ignore it, but after a few more blocks, I sighed and pulled over. I found another scrap of paper in the car, onto which the traumatized little cowboy gratefully clambered. I carried it to the curb and eased it onto a lovely rosebush.

I was briefly annoyed at all the interruptions in my morning, but then I remembered the Christmas spiders. Sometimes when I think back over James’s childhood, my heart sinks with memories of all the challenges his autism presented. I forget that there were also magic times of childhood wonder and delight.

Shh. The angel spiders have been here.


  1. The childhood of one's kid is certainly precious and being a working mum I feel sad that I missed out on much time of those memories.

    Merry Christmas to you


  2. It's a beautiful memory, sometime it's the less pleasing moments that helps the mind wander into the past and its sweetest moments come to life a second time.
    Have a blessed Christmas Galen Pearl and thanks for this wonderful year you offered your readers.

  3. Lovely post Galen. Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  4. What a lovely memory. I am not into spiders so I am so sure I would have done such a kind act for them.
    You are amazing. Blessings to you and have a wonderful Christmas holiday.

  5. BM--I was a working mom, too. I know I missed out on some things, but I have lots of memories even so. I hope you do, too. Thanks for commenting.

    Marie--Thanks for the kind words. Blessings to you, too, this holiday season.

    Cynthia--Thanks. Happy holidays to you, too.

    LeAnn--Interesting, isn't it, how we decide which beings are deserving of our compassion?! I like spiders and will take them outside, but I poison the ants that invade my kitchen. Still working on enlightenment! Merry Christmas to you, too.

  6. love the story and the memory sharing. Thank you so much.

    The best to you and yours

  7. What a lovely story and all the beautiful memories. When we are young and in the midst of child rearing, we are all the time rushed and want it over with but as the house gets quiet and lonely, you'd welcome back some of those precious moments.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  8. Patricia--Thanks. Best wishes to you, too.

    Manzanita--I'm sure that's true, but with two kids and a grandchild still at home, I'm still waiting for the house to get quiet and lonely! Merry Christmas to you, too!

  9. Through the eye of a child...
    Merry Christmas and may the coming year bring some Peace to our battered world.

  10. Thank you for a thoughtful and, at this point, much-needed story.

  11. When I lived in an old cabin in the Montana woods the spiders in the building weighed more than I did. I made a treaty with them that if they didn't bother me I wouldn't bother them. It worked! Ever since then I've kept a spider control kit (a cup with a piece of paper to cap it) to catch the little guys and take them outside.

  12. Just back from a quick Christmas getaway to make memories with the grandkids as we rode the Polar Express and experienced snow and cold in Flagstaff. Watching the kids' eyes expand to the size of saucers as Santa came through the railroad car and hearing their excited chatter made the trip worth every penny.

  13. restoring--So true. And with James's autistic perspective, he came out with some especially creative perceptions. Merry Christmas to you, too.

    CWMartin--You're welcome.

    Anonymous--When and where were you in a Montana cabin? In my youth, I spent some time in the Montana woods near Whitefish (in my back to the land hippie days). So beautiful. I use that spirder control method at home, too!

    Bob--Those are wonderful memories. Merry Christmas!

  14. As usual, love your story. It is certainly a beautiful memory to keep.

    Wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a joyous holiday season!

    With love,

  15. Merry Christmas and thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your Christmas Spiders. :)

  16. What a lovely post Becky! Christmas spiders...I fear I would have totally freaked out to find a spider web (spider included) along my steering wheel! We have spiders here that love to build their marvelous creations from our carport to my husband's truck. I always wind up walking right into it. Hope you had a lovely Christmas! Sending warm hugs your way!

  17. I remember those icycles dad's fave years ago. He was so careful placing them on the tree when my sister and I wanted to throw them by the handfuls. Hated to see them go and I can see how they were mesmorizing to James. Have a lovely day after.

  18. Evelyn--Hope you had a merry Christmas. Happy New Year!

    Bonnie--Thanks! We did enjoy Christmas. Hope you did, too.

    Leah--Not sure who Becky is, but thanks for the kind words. I know what you mean about the ubiquitous webs. They seem to appear in minutes. I walk through a lot of them myself.

    Healthier--Funny how we all had our own techniques with those icicles! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

  19. We will be traveling over the New Year. Just in case I don't stop by later. I am wishing you a Happy New Year.


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