Penny McNamee & Jack

The Australian Women's Weekly - - Celebration -

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.

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