You can find answers to the above questions and more here, on this incredible website, devoted to families and all things St. Nicholas on the St. Nicholas Center website.
When you visit stnicholascenter.org and you'll also find:
How about an 8 year old's perspective? I hope you take time to listen to this fun interview, "The Real St. Nick", about the difference between St. Nicholas and Santa - from the perspective of an 8 year old boy: http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/closetohome/the_real_st_nick
And don't miss this beautiful picture book, "Saint Nicholas & the Nine Gold Coins" by Jim Forest. This beautifully told story of St. Nicholas and the dowry gold, seamlessly includes historical background and Jesus' teachings. Illustrated by Vladislov Andrejev, with rich, full-color iconographic art - available here.
You can also read my past posts from my Advent and Christmas Resource Page: