THE Sunshine Coast has lost its "Christmas".
The Sunshine Coast Council is urging people to join in the "festive season", with the word "Christmas" barely getting a mention.
Coast-based Muslim leader Haset Sali also believed the season should be called Christmas, not festive.
"Christmas is Christmas," he said. "It is very sad - tragic - that people are going to the extreme (of excluding Christ from Christmas)."
The council started this year's "festive season celebrations" on Thursday, lighting the Christmas tree at Mooloolaba Esplanade.
Mayor Mark Jamieson invited everyone to celebrate more than 80 fun, family-friendly "festive season events" and activities over December and January.
"The festive season calendar reflects the cultural values, diversity and lifestyle of our Coast communities," Mayor Jamieson said in a press release.
His message in the council "festive season" brochure also encouraged people to "enjoy the festive season".
A council spokeswoman said "festive" was used as it "defines the period between December and January during which Christmas, New Year's Eve and Australia Day are celebrated".
"Sunshine Coast Council supports, delivers and promotes the wide variety of community-based celebrations and region-wide events held each year during this period - hence festive season as it is more than the Christmas celebration," the spokeswoman said.
Both Carols at Cotton Tree and Carols on Kings Beach would "feature traditional and non-traditional carols, some of which have Christian messaging".
But Cr Tim Dwyer said it was important the six-week holiday period was known as the "Christmas holiday, not the festive holiday".
He said he was prepared to raise the issues with council officers.
"The use of the predominant language 'festive season' over 'Christmas' is the wrong tack," he said.
Maroochydore Parish Catholic priest Father Jo Duffy thought calling the Christmas season "festive" was craziness.
"Failing to call Christmas Christmas is like the Victorian gentlemen who used to call their underpants their unmentionables," he said.
Should Council refer to the 'Festive Season' or 'Christmas Holidays' for the December-January period?
This poll ended on 23 November 2014.
Refer to Christmas as Christmas and the whole season as the Festive Season
Nobody's offended by Christmas, there's no need to change
Referring to two whole months as Christmas is silly, it's the Festive Season
Calling it Christmas is excluding people for no good reason
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
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