Lucie Arnaz, the daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, remembers Christmas with her parents vividly, and she is telling all about it.
For Arnaz and her brother, Desi Arnaz Jr., this time of the year was magical at their home in Beverly Hills, California, where the family lived in the 1950s.
“It was the only time of the year when there wasn’t stress,” Lucie Arnaz, an actress-singer, recalls. “There was a lot of stress because of how hard they worked, and their marriage wasn’t doing well. But Christmas was always a good time.”
Lucie Arnaz remembers her mother making the house look elegant:
“My mother loved the East Coast so she tried to bring it to Beverly Hills. We always had a flocked white tree with blue lights. At night, it made it look like wintertime in the snow,” said Lucille Ball’s daughter, who is now 62-years-old.
Lucie Arnaz recalls one particular Christmas morning when she woke up to loud noises on the roof, and a man dressed as Santa Claus coming to her window to deliver presents.
“He bent over and kissed me and said” — in a Cuban accent — ‘Merry Christmas!’ I thought, ‘Santa sounds just like daddy.’”
Years later, Lucie Arnaz’s mom Lucille confirmed that in fact it was Desi who was dressed as Santa that day.
“Yes, he did that,” she told her daughter. “He got all liquored up and banged on the roof and got in his Santa suit with the presents and the whole thing. And then he had to open his mouth.”
Lucie Arnaz was about seven-years-old when her parents split, and after that, she and brother Desi had two homes to celebrate Christmas in.
The Arnaz children spent one at the Beverly Hills home with Lucille Ball, and a Cuban version at Arnaz’s horse ranch east of Los Angeles, where they enjoyed a roasted pig.
Lucie Arnaz remembers her parents fondly and hopes the I Love Lucy Christmas Special, which airs Friday at 8 pm ET on CBS, will introduce them to a new generation of viewers.