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.

Postcard from... Paris

Elf help book: America’s favourite way to make sure that children are nice, not naughty, in the run up to Christmas

It is over here and selling fast. Gillian Orr hears the Elf on a Shelf story

Runners dressed in Father Christmas costumes take part in the annual 5km Santa Dash in Liverpool

It's better to give: A student guide to secret Santa

Secret Santa is the best way for friends to give each other gifts without busting through the overdraft

Mariah Carey's Christmas classic 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' is still guaranteed a spin at the office party

Christmas songs: the best and the worst

Whack on some Mariah Carey but leave the Cliff Richard to grandma

The 10 best Christmas decorations

With less than two weeks to go until the big day, you may have got the tree up but make sure the rest of the house is equally festive

Leighton Baines pictured during the Merseyside derby which ended 3-3

Leighton Baines targets Christmas return for Everton

The England international broke his toe in the Merseyside derby

Dowton Abbey star Jim Carter slams “old Etonians” running the country

Dowton Abbey star Jim Carter slams 'old Etonians' running the country

Dowton Abbey star Jim Carter has hit out at the “old Etonians” he says are still running the country.

Deals of the week - festive shopping in London, design hotel in Portugal,Christmas in Austria

Under £200... Capital Christmas shopping

Tune Hotels offers a budget pre-Christmas stay in the English and Scottish capitals, with double rooms for £50 at some London properties and £25 in Edinburgh. These rates apply on a few nights between now and Christmas, with availability good on 23, 24 and 25 December. tunehotels.com

Five things to do for a fiver in London this December

London is one of the most expensive cities in the world. But a good time in the capital needn’t break the bank.

Noddy Holder must be glad he wrote 'Merry Xmas Everybody' as he'll earn £800,000 this year from royalties.

Slade's 'Merry Xmas Everybody' to rake in over £520,000 in royalties by end of the year

Slade's 1973 hit still features on almost every festive playlist

Christmas lights on display in Byron Road, New Milton, Hampshire where each year, a group of residents on Byron Road switch on their lights to raise money for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance

Christmas lights: are you for or against?

New research suggests another property divide is emerging ...

Go straight... to the hospital: Doctors warn of the dangers of hair straighteners

It's party season, and smooth hair is de rigueur. But the devices are causing serious burns

Premier League to donate new football pitch at Ypres to commemorate 'Christmas Truce' match during First World War

The Premier League is to donate a floodlit football pitch to mark the centenary of the Christmas Truce match which saw British and German troops play each other during the First World War.

Simon Calder: The gift of travel – with strings attached

The man who pays his way
Christmas lights: Wow vouchers fly you to Iceland

Simon Calder: The gift of travel – with strings attached

The man who pays his way

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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor