Keep in mind, we do plan to push a content patch prior to release, which could occupy your holiday time quite well.
Eyonix answering what will be in the patch wrote:
Oh, you know, just a few small things such as a brand new honor system, as well as new talents and abilities along with dozens of other changes and improvements.
Eyonix on why they are patching these in wrote:
Remember, we were planning on patching in many things along with the release of the Burning Crusade so that those who chose not to purchase the expansion could still enjoy many new features.
With the delay of the game, we’ll be patching prior to its release.