A poor man with 3 daughters had no dowry to offer for their hand in marriage and one night after the daughters had washed out their clothing, they hung their stockings over the fireplace to dry. That night Saint Nicholas, knowing the despair of the father, stopped by the man's house after the family had gone to bed. He peeked in the window and saw the daughters' stockings hanging by the fire. Saint Nicholas took 3 small bags of gold from his pouch and threw them carefully, one by one, into the stockings. The next morning when the daughters awoke, they found their stockings contained enough gold for them to get married.