This three-part story was written for BBC Radio Cumbria this Christmas. Here’s the first instalment.
Lana will wrap the last of her presents, the ones to give to the family on Christmas morning. She will like doing it herself even though the online providers with their one-hour service, would wrap them for her in reconstituted all-natural paper-substitute that automatically recycles itself after 5 hours. She will be pleased with the low energy-use holographic display device she’s bought for her sister Eva. She will have already programmed it to display family members in rotation, as they appear in her ancient photos preserved on the universal cloud.
She’ll laugh as she finds some of her granddad Neil from 20 years earlier; Christmas 2021 according to the information embedded in the image, when she was 5 and Eva almost 3. She will think how strange Christmases were then! When a crisis closed down her school after she had only just started it, and you could only have one or two visitors on Christmas Day. All the same, she will have warm, vague memories of that time, when granddad Neil and Dennis would come on Christmas day and play tea parties and try to put together whatever game they’d got from Santa. She will think how peculiar it was that the game would probably have been made of plastic, long since outlawed.
Then she will tell the hologram device to power down and will put it in its little box. Her mum and dad and Eva will join her and her family first thing the next morning when they will drink a toast to Granddad Neil and Dennis. It will, she knows, be a lovely Christmas.