German Christmas does not start on Christmas Eve but starts at Advent. There are four Advent Sundays before Christmas when Germans light a candle on each Sunday on beautiful wreaths. There are sometimes also small presents given on those evenings. On 6th December it is St Nicholas day where the children put a plate under their beds in the night before and tradition says that St Nicholas comes and brings presents if the children have been good and sticks and coal if they were not. However the biggest difference between an English and a German Christmas is that the Germans celebrate on Christmas Eve. The presents are opened then, followed by a family meal. In Germany they do not have a single dominant Christmas meal like turkey, but instead eat goose or carp. Often Father Christmas visits the family on Christmas Eve and children play their instruments or recite poems. Christmas Day and Boxing Day mean further family meals but do not have any special traditions, unlike in other countries.