Sassy and Mary Lou, I am gonna slap you silly!
1st, Sassy, you said it was your brother's favorite time of the year -- why not embrace it?? Lord, I would be SICK if my family scaled back on the holidays when I love them so! Do some more this year, and realize the love that is the holidays keeps on. Anyone -- like me -- who WAITS for the holidays to come along would want to see you enjoy 'em. Here is my suggestion -- do one thing more that he would do, be it a bright yard decoration or just a special touch in the house.
And, Mary Lou, poo-poo on not putting a tree up. You just make it what you want -- small and full, big and bare. It's an empty nest -- do something different! This year I told Art I was thinking of taking all my old Christmas cards and making ornaments out of those when I have boxes of $15+ each ornaments. And if I hear, "too much trouble," I am gonna get crazy. It's time for you two to start creating new traditions!
Sorry, but the holidays are a time to welcome the new, and you both have the perfect opportunity!
With much love and hugs,