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.

Light snow covered areas of Cumbria and Northumberland earlier this week

UK weather: Bookies slash odds of white Christmas

At least one bookmaker has halved the odds of a white Christmas in just 24 hours as forecasters predict cold could turn rain to snow

Album of the week: Nick Lowe, 'Quality Street' (Proper)

Warmth and wit light up this festive box of delights 

£2,399 - Caribtours

Travel challenge

Winter sun in Barbados after Christmas

Community spirit could help save village pub

Residents of a small village in Cornwall hope the spirit of Christmas will help bring an historic pub into community-ownership.

Consumers will spend £47bn this Christmas

A record £31.9bn is predicted to be spent on debit cards this festive season while a further £14.9bn of cash will be withdrawn from ATMs.

Pope Francis gives Christmas presents to 2,000 immigrants

Pope had gift packages delivered to the Dono di Maria homeless shelter in Rome

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

Mariah Carey’s 'All I Want for Christmas is You' breaks a million sales

The song has sold 68,000 copies in the UK this year alone

Bear and hare woodland scene from John Lewis Christmas advert

John Lewis hopes for late Christmas boost as sales decline

John Lewis has revealed that sales fell last week across all its London stores, compared with the same week a year ago, in the clearest sign yet that people are leaving their Christmas shopping later than ever.

Leighton Baines has been ruled out for up to six weeks after suffering a broken foot

Leighton Baines 'not far away' from making Everton return

Roberto Martinez reveals left-back is making quick recovery

Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay has been issued with an ultimatum from club owner Vincent Tan that he

Malky Mackay reaction: Managers back Cardiff City manager over Vincent Tan amid unrest

Mackay has been reportedly issued with an ultimatum from Tan calling for him to 'resign of face being sacked'

Transfer news: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in line for potential return to England as Molde confirm approaches

Norwegian manager linked with vacant Premier League jobs

Giant rampaging pig smashes through fence and breaks a pensioner’s leg and wrist in Devon woodlands

The angry 600lb boar attacked a 74-year-old woman who was out feeding her friend’s animals

The Great British Christmas getaway: 4m to head abroad for holidays – while the rest of us face a travel and weather nightmare

An estimated 13 million people set to take to UK's roads from 24-26 December

1 in every 105 households in England at risk of repossession or eviction

Newham in London named worst 'hotspot'

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Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
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Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum