Plain to see: Use plain brown paper and add a personal handcrafted touch with beads, ribbons and Christmas decorations. From £2.99/3m roll, tch.net

The final flourish

There's no point buying the perfect gift if you don't wrap it properly. Trish Lorenz has all you need to roll out the cheer this Christmas

Postcard from... Delhi

Spend two days in Delhi, India's capital and the second biggest city in the country, and your snot will be black.

Postcard from... Moscow

In recent decades, many cities have made the transition from industrial to post-industrial, with power stations and factories converted into loft accommodation or cultural centres. Moscow is unique in the number of industrial zones that remain within the city – there are 209 functioning industrial areas inside the city bounds, some of which are right in the centre.

<p>1. Lakeland</p>
<p>£19.99 for one, lakeland.co.uk</p>
<p>This is vast. It has two party wigs, funny noses, teeth, moustaches, glasses, eye patches, paper hats, jokes, charade cards and balloons.</p>

The 10 Best Christmas crackers

Make sure your crackers don’t put a dampener on your festive feast by picking up one of these sparkling sets

Christmas fashion gift guide for him and her

Stuck for ideas this Christmas? All out of steam in the shops? Let The Independent's fashion team help out. Gemma Hayward and Lee Holmes select the best buys for budgets big and small

Vistamar Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah Gran Reserva 2008

Not such a green and pleasant land after all...

New film Sightseers shows rural Britain at its creepiest, says Ellen E Jones

Not such a green and pleasant land after all...

New film Sightseers shows rural Britain at its creepiest

IoS album review: Various artists, Mercyland: Hymns for the Rest of Us (Mercyland)

High-concept stuff – as in heavenly – in which the Nashville songwriter Phil Madeira co-opts a posse of notables into a project predicated on the idea that “God is love” (as opposed to the moralist of “crazy TV preachers”).

<p><b>1. Montezuma’s</b></p>
<p>£10, johnlewis.com</p>
Montezuma’s has become one of Britain’s leading and most innovative luxury chocolate makers. Its offering this year has a surprise flavour each day.

The 10 Best advent calendars

Christmas might be 31 days away, but you’ve only got a week left to get ready for the festive count-down...

Cops bust a Hallow'eed party

Students having a high old time at a Halloween party in Buffalo city were spooked by a mid-afternoon police raid and the confiscation of prodigious quantities of marijuana, reports The Buffalo News.

Hotting up: Cotopaxi in the Andes is Ecuador's highest active volcano

Where to go in 2013: Ecuador

Why go in 2013? Making tracks

Rebecca Tyrrel: 'George Lazenby's reputation as the Nostrodamus of movie trends is unshaken'

Who knew that George Lazenby quit James Bond after just the one film because he didn't believe the character could survive late-Sixties hippie culture? "Bond is a brute, and I will never play him again," he grandly announced soon after On Her Majesty's Secret Service was released in 1969. "Peace – that's the message now."

The 10 Best luxury chocolate bars

From super-size with salted peanuts to chilli and Mexican lime, there's a slab of tastiness here for every sweet tooth

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific