Saint Nicholas of Myra is a popular Christian Saint among children because of his reputation as a bringer of gifts in many nations of Europe.
In the days leading up to December 6, children put their shoes or a special Saint Nicholas boot in front of the fireplace or the front door at night to find them filled with small presents the next morning.
The legendary figure of Saint Nicholas is derived from Nicholas of Myra, a bishop in 4th century Greece. During his lifetime he developed a reputation for gift-giving by putting coins in other people's shoes, which accounts for many of today's Christmas traditions that involve leaving gifts in shoes or stockings.
Saint Nicholas Day is a religious observance but not a nationwide public holiday in Australia.