UPDATE: Well, I didn't have to talk to Ted. My sister did. I didn't say a word to her about Ted's plans. Ted called Sis to thank her for the pics she'd sent of our niece. He told her about his plans, with what Sis called a "'aren't I just so clever' tone."
From what she described, the conversation went something like this:
Ted: (paraphrased) So I'm 'pulling a Ted' again this year so I can the look of joy on our parents' faces when I tell them I will be at Weeblewobble's house!
Sis: Are you (redacted) kidding me?
Ted: (predictably defensive) What?!
Sis: You're going to let our retiree parents, with Mom's not-great night vision and Dad's back problems, drive four hours each way through major metropolitan holiday traffic, stay in a hotel at holiday weekend prices when they don't have to? So instead of spending the weekend relaxing and getting ready for the holiday, they're going to exhaust themselves, spend money they don't have to, and possibly get into a wreck? All so YOU can feel good when YOU see the 'look of surprise' on their faces?'"
Ted: (grumbling) Well, I didn't think of it that way. But it's not as bad as you're making it sound!
Sis: It's as bad as I'm making it sound. You're going to see them on Christmas Day, so instead of stressing them out and putting them out, why don't you call them now and tell them you'll see them at Weeblewobble's? If you want to see the look on their faces, use Skype!
Ted told her he would think about it and hung up without saying goodbye. I don't know if he's going to change his plans. At this point, I'm just going to sit back and see how this plays out.
ETA: Sis also pointed out the complication of transporting presents for us kids and grandkids to Ted's city and then to my city. The number of packages will possibly call attention to their vehicle when it's parked in the hotel's parking facilities.