St Nicholas lived in the region now known as Turkey so would've had darker skin tone than our modern "jolly old elf." His wealthy parents died of plague, but as an orphan he donated his fortune to the poor to become a monk and priest. He was later named Bishop of the port town of Myra.
He was renowned for secretly leaving gifts for poor families, which is where we get the idea of "St Nick coming down the chimney to put gifts in stockings." This portrait by Cleveland-area artist Chloe Becker remembers the early calling of this Saint who says, "May our justice run deeper than the sea."