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It’s convenient to dislike the holiday season, and more so to develop a negative attitude. Aversion to the end of the year can be persistent and its flames are easily fanned. As I reflect, gatherings might not have seemed enjoyable in the past, but I find that my memories are still colored rose.

I don’t relish the holidays as much as some other people do, but I don’t picture myself a grinch, either. This year, I am choosing to adopt optimism. I will look forward to it fondly: a family together in front of a warm oven, the endearing energy of children on Christmas morning, and the tender smiles of my friends and relatives.

Never mind political tension around the dinner table or attitudes that seem more callous each passing minute. These don’t lay the foundation of good memories, nor will I let them. I plan to think of a pleasant time reuniting with the people I care about, and will not take for granted a single moment with them.

In the coming months, I will look at a festive photograph and think of the holiday as a time when I remembered all those who want to celebrate with me. I will remind myself of how grateful I am that they are in my life, for better or worse. This doesn’t have to be a contentious or confrontational time of year. Instead, I will embrace the joy that it gives me to love and be loved in return.

Zach Cuipylo