This has been another difficult year, and moments of joy could be hard to find. Efforts to reopen festivals, businesses, and borders came haltingly during the ongoing pandemic, with some success and some disappointment. Yet there were still moments of happiness, fun, and love. I have made it an annual tradition, after rounding up the often painful “news photos of the year,” to compose an essay of uplifting images from the past 12 months—an effort to seek out and recognize some of the abundant joy and kindness present in the world around us, even during hard times. The following are images from the past year of personal victories, families and friends at play, expressions of love and compassion, volunteers at work, or simply small and pleasant moments.