It is quite sad that the holiday season, once known to be a joyous time to celebrate family and get together with friends, has now turned into a season of excessive and unnecessary spending. We have to buy so many things we don’t really need like decorations, holiday cards, new festive clothes. As a result, all of these make us present ourselves to society in ways we wouldn’t normally do.
As evidenced in this image, the lady is no longer content with the prospect of celebrating with whoever “you” refers to, whether it be her boyfriend, husband, or family. Instead, she understands that Christmas is a time of getting, rather than giving. She desires diamonds, a material possession which she believes will give her happiness, albeit a temporary one. Thus, the lady has false needs. Again this goes along with Marcuse’s ideas that capitalist consumerism is destructive to the system and gives people a false sense of consciousness and the belief that they are leading the “good life”. Christmas should be a time to be free from the constraints of capitalism and relax, and not a time to feed into the system.
For holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day, should people advocate a “no presents” rule altogether? Can you think of examples where we can escape from this consumerist Christmas culture?