At that time of year Vail almost always has the most snow (along with Steamboat usually). Though some of the people at Vail can me a pain in the butt, it's not that busy that you can't avoid them on the hill. Vail also grooms tons of their terrain for ALL levels. While popular areas can bump up, I'm sure you could ski there every day for a week, not hit the same terrain twice and never see a mogul. (and that's if you stay on the marked trails). It's a good choice for early season. It is a resort, and it is glitzy, but big enough that once you are on the hill you can ignore that.
A lot will depend on who gets the snow when you are headed out. Vail / Beaver Creek can see twice the snowfall that Summit County has at that time of year. Most of the Vail Resorts areas (Keystone / Breck / Vail / BC) also leave skiable terrain and lifts closed most years till 2 weeks before Christmas and slowly open areas right up to the start of Christmas week. Check lift and trail openings online daily.
Conditions pending Breckenridge / Copper / Winter Park, Mary Jane are all great places to try. I'd skip Keystone at that time of year. Keystone typically gets less snow than the rest of the Summit County areas especially early season.
Loveland is an excellent choice. It's close to Denver, never crowded and way up there in elevation and usually has good cover at that time of year. It has a similar feel to Grand Targhee. Bumps can be avoided there and there are easily hiked areas to ski.
Hit A-Basin if there is a lot of snow. It takes a lot to cover that place. It is not a destination areas, so while tourists may spend a day there, it's usually reserved for locals and Denverites. Careful though. While a 50" base may sound good, there are plenty of 51 and 53 inch rocks there. Go if conditions warrant and on a sunny day or during a major snow. Otherwise if visibility is just pain tough....skip it.
Vail Resorts has discount tickets that you can buy online, but savings don't start till you buy three days. I suspect Copper/Steamboat/WP-MJ are the same. Do some research on that at their respective web sites.
Discount tickets are available in some Denver ski shops and (I think) some grocery stores. That's probably a better way to go than buying in advance. Perhaps a bit more expensive, but better flexibility.