The best festive tableware: Elegant additions to make Christmas Day all the more special

Clockwise from top left: Bouquet napkin rings (set of 4), £17.99, zara.com

Snow joke: a selection of jumpers made by ‘British Christmas Jumpers’

Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Christmas jumpers used to be unwanted gifts from an embarrassing relative. Not any more. Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind the British Christmas Jumpers brand
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890

Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
The reindeer pen at the attraction

Winter blunderlands: Putting the grot into grotto

The temporary closure of Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen's 'Magical Journey' Christmas attraction continues the tradition of festive wonderland disasters

People perform a dance routine to mark the Christmas Jumper Day in London

Christmas clothing should come but once a year (if at all)

Wear, what, why, when?

Aldwych is one of the Tube network's derelict stations

Abandoned Tube stations and tunnels to be sold off as tourist attractions

TFL is reportedly planning to invite companies to bid to transform the abandoned spaces

How is the New Year celebrated in your culture?

In Japan, New Year's Eve itself is called oh-misoka, and is a day to spend quietly at home for most people. It is not a day for fireworks at all in Japan (fireworks are reserved for summertime). You reflect on the old year, watch some year-ending entertainment programmes on TV such as Kohaku Uta Gassen (a long-running singing contest show), and perhaps go to the local temple at midnight, while hearing the 108 rings of the bell to ring away the evils of the old year. People looking for a party on New Year's Eve are often disappointed.

The Hoff, hooked! Backstage with David Hasselhoff and the panto brigade

Booing and hissing ex-soap stars and Eighties musicians has become an integral, if confusing, part of the Christmas tradition in the UK. As a kid, I remember pulling at my mum's ski-pants to ask who Sinitta was and why everyone was so excited to see her perform next to Cannon and Ball (it was always Cannon and Ball).

7 best Christmas gifts for gardeners

Green-fingered friends and relatives will love these garden-related gifts

Christmas Jumper picture of Pets at Home head office employees and their pets dressed up for the occasion too

In pictures: Christmas Jumper Day

Take a look at the best Christmas jumper photos sent by our readers.

Regent Street snowflake Christmas lights, 1955

In pictures: Christmas in London through the ages

We take a look at the remarkable set of black and white photographs showing how London celebrated Christmas during the 1950s, 60s and 70s. They come from the Museum of London’s unique photography collection, which provides a glimpse into all aspects of London life during the second half of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Eric Marshalls (73) outside his home in Bagby, Noth Yorkshire. Eric spends up to three weeks erecting his display of Christmas lights which he has amassed over 20 years

In pictures: Impressive Christmas lights displays

Each year people decorate their houses with the most extraordinary Christmas lights. We take a look at this year’s most impressive Christmas lights displays.

The 10 best Christmas gifts for pet lovers

Searching for something to give the animal lover in your life? Look no further, we have an awesome selection of unique gifts ideas

The 20 best Christmas gifts for teenagers

Whether you have a drama queen or a moody adolescent, treat them this Christmas with one of these great gifts

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