Once upon a time there was a kindly nobleman whose wife had died of illness and left him and his three daughters. The nobleman tried many inventions, failed, and also run out of money, so they had to move to live in a farmhouse, his daughters have to do cooking, sewing and cleaning by themselves.
A few years later, when his daughters reached the age of marriage, the father became even more depressed because he had no money to buy a dowry for his daughters. One night, after the girls had washed their clothes, they hung their stockings over the fireplace to dry. Saint Nicholas, knowing the circumstances of their father, came to their house that night. He watched the family fall asleep from the window and noticed the girls' stockings. Then he took three small bags of yellow gold from his pocket and threw them one by one down the chimney, just in the girls' stockings.
The next morning, the daughters awoke to find that their stockings were full of gold enough for them to buy a dowry. The nobleman was able to see his daughters marry and live happily ever after.
Later, children around the world inherited the tradition of hanging Christmas stockings. Children in some countries have other similar customs, such as in France, where children place their shoes by the fireplace and so on.