My simple solution for travelers stranded in Denver
Maybe I'm missing a key piece of information here, but why don't people stranded in Denver simply do this:
1. Rent car from major provider
2. Drive a few hours to another airport and fly from there.
My take is this. If you can afford it and you *really* want to get home for Christmas, just drive to another airport. The roads should be clear now, it's just the airlines that are backed up. Santa Fe is, I believe, the closest "International" airport to Denver at six hours away, but all you really need to do is just drive to another, smaller airport that connects to a major hub and you're good to go (assuming, of course, that the rental car company has an office in that city where you can drop off that car). Hell, according to this link, there are seven other non-Denver airports in Colorado. Drive there and use those airlines to get the hell out!