The tradition of giving gifts has many roots; however, the most widely accepted one evolved from the story of St. Nicholas, a bishop, who was born in Turkey. The story goes that he had heard of a family with three daughters all over marriageable age who were unable to wed as they had no dowry. St. Nicholas had to give up all of his worldly possessions to become a bishop so he took three bags of gold coins and dropped them down the chimney. The coins landed in the girls stockings which had been hung to dry on the fireplace. St. Nicholas was caught in the act by their father whom St. Nicholas begged to keep his secret; however, barely two days later the entire village learned of the gifts.