The effect is becoming more pronounced as the years go on, I'm finding. Since there isn't a "Mom's side of the family" left to spend the actual holiday with, the day itself passes with little to set it apart from other days. (Well, aside from almost everything being shut down, but that's peaceful in its own way.) And I haven't been feeling much pressure to keep the post-holiday get-togethers with Dad et al. closely linked to the holiday itself — we get together when we do, at which point we exchange any gifts we may have for one another. The birthday gathering does tend to be held in July, because there's a critical mass of family birthdays falling in that month.
This year, spiritualmonkey and I marked the Solstice in our semi-traditional manner (staying up all night watching a movie marathon — we got the Tremors 4-movie "Attack Pack" set from Amazon for $9.99 as our Solstice-gift-to-us). Christmas itself passed quietly, and since the catering bartender's feast-or-famine cycle is currently a mite... lean, shall we say, we delayed the semi-traditional hot pot dinner and instead had pho (mmm, pho).
We did manage to get out to hot pot last night, and are planning to head over to SF's Japantown today to go to the stationery store for notebooks (love that Japanese writing paper). If you happen to be over there around the middle of the day, send one of us a txt msg (should be possible from our profile pages, I think) and maybe we can meet up for coffee or a nibble or something.
Happy Solstice, everybody. I wish you peace, joy, and love always, and especially during the darkest, chilliest time of the year. (And if you're in the Southern Hemisphere, know that I'll be thinking of you on June 21.)