Voices

On a recent trip to Paris, I noticed that the French are really quite tardy about taking down their Christmas decorations. I can't speak for the private homes of individuals, but in the streets, there they were, twinkling on against January's grey skies.

Avoid online shopping and sales - get to the Christmas markets

In a world dominated by tax avoiding shopping behemoths and faceless super chains, it’s nice to experience some interaction with stall owners

John Lewis finds its Faith after social media appeal for five-year-old bauble breaker

Little girl had written a letter with £2 attached saying ‘I’m sorry I broke a Christmas bauble on Saturday’

Asda gives working mums 'nativity leave' to see children in plays

With tea towels draped precariously over wise men’s heads, fidgeting shepherds and an audience of overanxious, camera-phone-toting parents willing their offspring not to fluff their lines, the annual nativity play has become a deeply loved and emotional Christmas tradition.

Ice hockey fans throw 25,921 teddy bears onto the ice in bizarre scenes in Calgary

The toys will be distributed to charities and children in hospital

Deals of the week - European city breaks, Christmas in the Cotswolds, New Year in New York

Under £200... European city breaks by train

Cresta has a range of deals on January city breaks to Europe. Examples include Paris, where three nights at the Hotel Jardins de Montmartre from 13 January is £175pp; or Bruges, where the Ibis Brugge Centrum from 17 January is £169pp. Both include breakfast and Eurostar. crestaholidays.co.uk

Waitrose to sell sweeter 'child-friendly' Brussels sprouts for Christmas

Children often reject the festive staple because of its perceived bitter taste

Cyber Monday: The 10 worst Christmas gift ideas for your girlfriend

Online retailers are bracing themselves for what could be the busiest, and most profitable day, for Internet shopping in history.

<b>5. Carluccios Beuno Festa</b> This is the first year Carluccio’s has produced an advent calendar and it was worth the wait. Besides the beautiful packaging, inspired by the colours of Bologna, each window reveals high-quality, foil wrapped chocolate in the shape of fruit, animal or something Christmassy. At 250g, there’s no skimping either. £10.95, www.carluccios.com

Rejoice, the Christmas chocolate calendar is upon us

People, I think it’s time we took a long hard look at this tradition, and ourselves

Timmy Murphy

Timmy Murphy and Dominic Elsworth face hearing over Newbury scrap

Tinie Tempah was one of the celebrity names at Newbury yesterday, jockeys' temper one of the talking points. An incident in which Timmy Murphy was injured after coming to blows with fellow-rider Dominic Elsworth on Friday is to be investigated by the British Horseracing Horseracing Authority, with a hearing scheduled for Thursday. The men could face charges of bringing the sport into disrepute.

The Christmas party season is extending into January

Businesses choose to come late to the (Christmas) party

December is typically when staff enjoy a cocktail of office Christmas parties, festive team lunches and client drinks, followed in the New Year by vows of abstinence and resolutions to hit the gym. The calorie counting may have to be delayed this year, however, due to a rise in companies holding their annual celebrations in January.

How to get the look: Brocade

Fancy pants!

This is your elephant name

In light of our Christmas appeal this year, we thought we'd help you find your elephant name. Elephants are more like humans than you might think. They can be gay, are left or right-handed, work as a society and even grieve like us.

PS4 goes on sale in the UK as Sony disables online features

Sony's rival to the Xbox One has now launched worldwide; the two titans of home gaming will now go head-to-head over Christmas

JD Sports shares jump on better-than-expected sales

An upturn in the fortunes of outdoor clothing brands Millets and Blacks helped owner JD Sports deliver a well-received trading update today.

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