Auckland Airport welcomes thousands of people who return to or visit New Zealand to spend time with their friends and family at Christmas. We present some of these magic moments.

Seven-year-old twins Luke and Ella Tibbotts stand eagerly on the metal rail dividing them from those arriving to Auckland as they wait for their mother to come home.

When she walks through the sliding doors - both climb through the rail to embrace her in a hug.

The Tibbotts twins both described it as "the best gift this Christmas."

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Their mother Jacqueline Tibbotts had been away on business in Milan and was thankful to be back in New Zealand with her loved ones, and the weather.

"I am very happy to get back to my family and the sun," she said.

When Tibbotts arrived in Auckland around 10.30am it was 20C and sunny. It was snowing when she left Milan.

Given the weather in Italy, Tibbotts was worried she might not make it back to Auckland in time for Christmas.

"I have missed everybody so much, it's so good to be home," she told the Herald.

The Tibbotts said they haven't got much planned for Christmas, other than spending time with family.

"Christmas at home with family will be really nice and have a barbecue in the sun," Tibbotts said.