Warm greetings to you! I am wishing for the thing most of us wish for daily: Peace on earth!With tranquility in place, good will toward man will come naturally.I know keeping the television off is an act of avoiding reality, but honestly, tragic, brutal events are difficult to accept sometimes. The meanness, violence and disrespect are so crippling and cruel I sometimes weep my way to sleep. It has to improve or we self-destruct.This is a strange Christmas season. I am not merry; I am frightened and tense and hope that the day brings some laughter and warmth, to share with the people around me. More than most years, I believe we all really, really “need a little Christmas, need a little Christmas, need a little Christmas now.”Each of us likely has our own idea of a perfect Christmas celebration. If you do not, think about how you would like to make the day extraordinary. And then make it happen. It takes an effort for sure, but if you focus and have clear objectives, it is a wonderful challenge to bring to fruition. What I am thinking is the most precious way to celebrate this Christmas holiday is to keep in mind that people need people. We seem to have become a nation of programs, agencies, regulations and technology; our country is one huge, mismanaged bureaucracy. Our leaders do not seem to connect to the people they represent. If they did, I think that, given the tragic, horrific losses of life and property Americans have endured just within the last six months, they would say with conviction, “Americans have suffered enough. Let’s commit to seriously reducing our debt and spending and learn to live within a budget.” That I realize is not politically correct. Riding on the wave of “I won” seems to me to be the poorest of reasons to continue the manifesto towards the perceived wealthiest of Americans. I have never considered a man’s wealth by how much money is in his wallet. Character and integrity make up my scale for measuring a person’s worth. I asked several people what gift they most wanted this year. Many answered, “A job would make me very happy,” Some said a sense of security about the future would give them tremendous peace of mind. One said, “I would like to see and hear from my children more.” You can get an affirmative on that one from me. None of these are “things.” They all relate to a quality of life that is seriously compromised in these times of a divided country.Sandy, the hurricane, and the Sandy Hook School travesty, have given me a great deal of pause for reflection. I am saddened by television coverage of the wrath of Sandy and have cried watching and listening to the millions of people affected by this storm. The tragedy at Sandy Hook School shook me, as it did most, emotionally and I am teary every single time I watch coverage of it.My twin sister visited me last week. Shortly before I drove to Reno to pick her up, I heard about the Sandy Hook School. I admit I was not able to put it aside and enjoy a weekend with her without thinking of those innocent new angels who deserved none of what happened to them. While I awaited the call that she returned safely, I learned one of the victims of the shooting in Connecticut was a twin. His sister survived.For a while I thought of how devastated and lost I would be should my twin die in a brutal senseless killing. Only one who is a twin can relate to being a twin. I have a friend who lost his twin brother when they were seven years old; he still misses him. I have special prayers for the little boy’s surviving twin sister.I can only hope and pray that our leaders in Washington realize this has been a very tragic year for Americans and decide to not quibble about tax increases. No one in this country is a winner when all the losses are calculated. We all need a break, not more stress or more taxes. Throughout all the disastrous events of 2012 there is a constant thread of hope. Particularly in New Town, Conn., the role of prayer and people helping each other has been profound. It is difficult to comprehend how we can ignore a higher power that gives us guidance and strength through the unfathomable pain of the senseless loss of innocent children. I believe God is giving us jolting signs to lead us into a better way to live together. We can do that together. Let’s.Welcome Baby Jesus. We need you.• Ann Bednarski of Carson City is a career educator and journalist.