What are some of the French beliefs for Christmas?

During Christmas night, le Père Noël (literally Father Christmas, or Santa for Americans) will visit homes. He used to come down the chimney, but not necessarily so. Children leave a pair of their shoes next to the chimney, or under the Christmas tree, to mark the place where he will (if they have been nice) leave presents for them.

For naughty children, he has a replacement, le Père Fouettard, (the Whipping guy), who can give out a little flogging or a spank instead of a nice present. I've always been nice, so I have never met him.