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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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

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Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

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Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

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Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders