As the title tips you off, this is more of a ghost story than SF or F. But it’s not a ghost of the Xmas Past/Present/Future, but more a ghost of Xmas Alternate.
Nicely told by Grant, with some believable characters, only the use of ‘vacation’ rather ‘holiday’ jarring slightly (unless the younger generation of Brits have taken to using the American word), but I do like a bit more SF (or F, if pressed).
And in term of youngsters, can I just go on record that having read Interzone for 12yrs, it’s quite depressing to see the obituaries at the front of the magazine increasingly include people with birthdates more recent than mine. Mind you, on the upside of getting older, next year I will become eligible for Over 55s Lunchtime Specials at nearby hostelries, and I’ll also be moved up to the 55-64 age group on Strava and won’t have to compete with people almost ten years younger.
More about this issue of Interzone here.