According to legend, a poor man worried that his three daughters would not get married as he did not have dowry for them. St Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra, knew of their plight and wanted to help them. On Christmas Eve, after the girls had put their stockings out to dry on the fire place, he threw some gold coins down the chimney. The coins landed in the stockings and filled them. When news of this spread, other people began to hang stockings too in the hope that they would receive gifts.
St Nicholas is believed to be the inspiration for Father Christmas.