Penny McNamee & Jack
As a child growing up in the rural suburb of Dural, NSW, performing in the nativity play on Christmas morning was a ritual Penny McNamee relished. This December 25, it’s a tradition her three-year-old son Jack will follow. But, says Penny, there will be one big difference.
“Everyone brought their farm animals,” says the Home and Away actress, 35, explaining how the non-speaking roles were filled at her local church. “Growing up, that seemed normal. But then I moved to the city and went, ‘Oh, so people don’t bring their cows to church here. No wonder it doesn’t reek like a barn!’”
Just like Penny and her four siblings – who include fellow actress Jessica McNamee – the church nativity won’t be the only performance Jack will take part in during the festive season.
“My parents always hosted the McNamee carols night where we all acted out the nativity,” says Penny, whose second child with husband and high school sweetheart, Matt Tooker, is due in March. “I kid you not, they still have a whole wardrobe dedicated to the costumes, and now all the grandkids get them out. The coveted role is Mary and if there’s a new baby, they’ll play baby Jesus.
Mine won’t be here in time, but there’s always next year.”
JACK WEARS PETIT BATEAU PYJAMAS, FROM DAVID JONES; PENNY WEARS GINIA SLIP.HAIR & MAKE-UP: ALLISON BOYLE. CUSHIONS FROM RUBY STAR TRADER. PAINT IN EMERALD GREEN FROM PORTER’S PAINTS.