Christmas shopping a 'herculean' task for family of 17

At home with three of her children -Jeni Bonell has to buy Christmas presents for 15 children.From left; Eric, 3 years, Damian, 2 years and Rachel 5 years. Photo: Bev Lacey / The Chronicle
At home with three of her children -Jeni Bonell has to buy Christmas presents for 15 children.From left; Eric, 3 years, Damian, 2 years and Rachel 5 years. Photo: Bev Lacey / The Chronicle Bev Lacey

WITH more kids in the Bonell household than days of Christmas, present-shopping can be a big task.

Jeni and Ray Bonell face the herculean task of finding the perfect gift for each of their 15 children, ranging in age from two-and-a-half to 24 years.

It's not just a job set aside for December according to Mrs Bonell.

"We think about what the kids want all year - as soon as one Christmas is over, we're into the next year. We're planning, listening out to what they might like," she said.

"We actually have a list and probably check it more than twice.

"We go through and try and make sure they get something that will make them feel special."

Mrs Bonell said she had tried out online shopping site eBay for Christmas presents for the first time this year, rating the experience as "simple and quick".

"If I can learn to do it, anyone can," she said.

And despite the stress, it's all worth it on Christmas morning.

"When you see a whole bunch of little kids crammed into a room that's chock-a-block full of presents and wrapping paper … the little faces, they get so excited," Mrs Bonell said.

"It's something that's just theirs, they don't have to share it with everybody else in the house.

"You've just got to make sure that it's thoughtful giving, to make people feel special and loved."



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