Real Life

Australia’s biggest family wants another baby for Christmas!

Australia's biggest family wants another baby for Christmas!

For this ever-growing Aussie family of 17, Christmas is a case of the more the merrier!

Ask mum-of-15 Jeni Bonell what she wants for Christmas and you’d expect her to say a bigger house, or maybe a bit of peace and quiet, or even a getaway car for a very quick escape. But you won’t hear any such words from the lips of this proud and protective Queensland mum. “I want another baby,” the 42-year-old says, longingly. “I’ve made out my wish list, and another baby is certainly at the top of that list. That’s what I’m really hoping for. That’s what I’ve told Santa.” It’s a good thing husband Ray, 44, shares her zeal for parenting. As far as he’s concerned, 15 kids aged between six months and 22 years are not nearly enough.

“We’d love more,” says Ray as the fun-loving Bonell siblings get ready for our special Woman’s Day Christmas photoshoot. “We always hope for more, but the stork might shoot me. He was looking a bit ragged last time, when he dropped in with our fifteenth bub.” “We love the stork,” adds Jeni. “I just wish he’d bring more than one at a time.” It’s likely that Jeni and Ray, who works as a door technician, will get their wish. It seems they have a direct line to Santa through their good friend Ralph Cockle.

As they gather in Toowoomba’s famous Rose Gardens in historic Newtown Park, he breezes in from the North Pole to find out who among the Bonell kids – Jesse, 22, Brooke, 20, Claire, 18, Natalie, 16, Karl, 15, Samuel, 13, Cameron, 12, Sabrina, 10, Timothy, 9, Brandon, 7, Eve, 5, Nate, 4, Rachel, 3, Eric, 21 months, and new addition Damian, 6 months – has been naughty or nice.

“They really are a special family,” Santa confides to Woman’s Day. “I just love their passion and their love for each other. It really moves me when I see them together. “Naturally, with a family of this size, Mum and Dad have to be highly organised, but it’s organised in a caring way. I’ve visited their home many times and it’s not regimented, it’s beautifully done, and I’m a very lucky Santa to have these people in my life.” Excited to see Santa, Tim happily declares that, like the famous song, all he wants for Christmas is his two front teeth.

Read more about how the Bonell family will be spending Christmas in this week’s Woman’s Day, on sale December 12, 2011.

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