What about just removing the transmission? If that is not beyond your skills you could have it fixed by yourself before the holiday.
I personally wouldn't go to the extra trouble of removing the entire engine to replace the drive plate/damper plate. Seems like it would make more sense to support the engine with a couple of bottle jacks under each exhaust manifold. After removing the two rear mounts, drive shaft coupling, hoses, electrical connections, shift cable etc... just raise the engine a few inches and unbolt the transmission.
It's really not that hard if you are mechanically inclined at all, in fact I think the hardest part of the job that requires the most patience is aligning the drive shaft when you are finished.
Need LT-1 parts?
OIL FILTER: Factory installed is a Penzoil P23, Afta market brands, AC Delco PF-454 and a Fram PH-13 or PH-30 will work.
SPARK PLUGS: AC Delco MR43LTS (gapped to .040")
FUEL FILTERS: AC Delco 25171391 (pump inlet side)
89058397 (pump outlet side)
IGNITION WIRES: Call Inboard Online @ (877) 327-7175 and order part numbers 556010A (odd bank) and 556010B (even bank)