While I have a pretty large extended family, most of whom I don't know, my immediate world growing up consisted of my maternal grandparents, my mom and my sister. There were no other family members that we saw at the holidays so there was never any real discussion about remembering those family members who had passed away.
However, all of that changed for the Christmas of 1993. That year was the first Christmas without my grandfather, my father figure. I was home for break from college and it was very surreal to not have him be there to do the whole "bah humbug" thing even though I think he secretly enjoyed having "the kids" around. I recall it being a very quiet day with some tears that were shed. Even though we were all still grieving his loss, we also tried to remember some good things about him that made us laugh.
Every holiday after that got easier, but there was, and still is, a definite profound loss by not having him around. I wish he were here to enjoy my girls as they marvel at the sights and sounds of Christmas. I know he would have loved them.