Christmas is one of the few times of the year that families are brought together no matter the cost.
And in 2020 ensuring Christmas Day is spent with loved ones has been as difficult of a task as ever.
For much of the year Tasmanian borders were slammed closed as the state locked out travellers in an attempt to prevent COVID-19 from re-entering the state, and it was not until late in October when "low-risk" travellers were able to freely transit around the country.
But for many Christmas was the first opportunity they had to finally reconnect with their family and friends, and they made it with barely a minute to spare.
Twenty-one-year-old Trevallyn woman Sophie Burgess travelled from Canberra to be with her family at Christmas time. It was the first time in a year she had seen her parents and two sibling, but it almost was not to be.
"I only made the snap decision to come from Canberra about a week and a half ago because I just assumed with COVID I wasn't going to be able to," she said.
But for her parents Di and Mike Burgess, and siblings Tim and Nichola, it was a decision they are glad she made.
"It'll make Christmas," Mr Burgess said.
"It's a beautiful surprise and it's going to be so special," Mrs Burgess said.
Aside from finally seeing her family, flying into Launceston after such a long time served as a moment of nostalgic reflection from Ms Burgess.
"Our flight was over the Tamar and it was so nice being able to pinpoint all the locations. I saw home, I saw the Gorge, I saw the high school, I saw berry farms ... It was nice to be able to see it all as I was coming in and build that anticipation," she said.
It was a similar story for the Nailer family from Ulverstone.
Jaimi Nailer lives in Brisbane but normally travels back home to Tasmania when she can.
"We usually try to come home every six months ... so it wasn't great [not being able to come home]," she said.
"We don't really know anyone in Brisbane and all our family is here, it was pretty tough."
Her mother, Christine Nailer, said they had last seen each other in January when some of the family visited in Brisbane, but her daughter hadn't seen her father for longer still.
"It's hard when they can't come home. She hadn't seen her Dad for two years," she said.
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Both the Burgess' and Nailer's said not not even having the option to see each other weighed heavy on their hearts throughout the year, but being able to travel home for Christmas offered some consolation after living in different states throughout the pandemic.
For airport cleaner Eva Middap, Christmas time at the airport was all in a day's work.
"I've been here 11 years, you get used it. It's just another day," she said.
"When you work on Christmas it's just like family, like you're with your second family."
Ms Middap said being able to assist in any small way with families reuniting for the holiday period brought a smile to her face.
"Because of the pandemic, seeing this now [people reuniting] gives you more joy. People have to see their family for Christmas, it's one thing that makes you feel better," she said.
She said she would have lunch with her family before heading back to work to clean up after the Christmas Day flights.
Launceston Airport CEO Hans van Pelt said the amount of travellers coming into the port at Christmas time was a positive sign for the region and the industry.
He said the large amount of travellers could foreshadow a projected speedy recovery for what is one of the fastest recovering airports in the country.
In a message for airport staff having to work through Christmas Mr van Pelt said, "we're grateful for the people that are rostered on and can work and operate the airport".
"It is traditionally a very busy period and it obviously impacts their own life. We genuinely appreciate the efforts and the availability to enable the system to work and enable people to go on holiday or visit their family and friends over that key period."
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