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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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
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head