When I think about original St. Nicholas and what kind of man he might have been, I think he was a Christian who loved God, and thus grew a heart of compassion for people.
He was humble and sincere in his service, as he chose to obey God's Word in keeping his alms a secret ... desiring glory to belong to God (anyone, who's ever loved God more than himself, wouldn't have it any other way) - and he didn't require a special holiday to consider another's need.
St. Nicholas may not have been jolly on every occasion, as he lived in real world - just like rest of us. However, I believe he did have true joy in his heart because he was in tune with his Maker.
St. Nicholas was a common man with an uncommon heart, who allowed himself to be used by God in both his church and community. He would have thought his gesture of good will to be small potatoes in comparison to gift of Jesus.
If he had known perversion in commercialism and greed that would ensue, I think it would have made St. Nicholas feel absolutely sick. And, if St. Nicholas would have known He'd take precedence over Jesus, I believe he would have cursed day his secret gift was discovered.
I also think St. Nicholas would have wanted us to know what Webster's New World Dictionary has to say, "Nick (nik), n. Devil: usually Old Nick," as well as others referring to goblin and demon. It seems to me Old St. Nick was just another one of Satan's tricks ... and it worked.
The above is only article I've ever written wherein I shared my opinion, not just what God had revealed to me. It was written in conclusion to a historical account of original St. Nicholas that was taught in my local church. And, it wasn't too hard to receive, considering I want to believe that, underneath, people are basically good.