As seen on TV

Lucie Arnaz recalls Christmas with her famous parents Lucy and Desi

 
Kris Connor / Getty Images

Lucille Ball’s classic antics are colorized in an I Love Lucy holiday special airing on CBS. But daughter Lucie Arnaz’s vivid family Christmas memories don't require any embellishment to shine.

Arnaz says her parents, Ball and Desi Arnaz, made the most of the holiday at their Beverly Hills home in the 1950s. Arnaz and her brother, Desi Arnaz Jr., reveled in it.

“It was the only time of the year when there wasn't stress,” recalled Arnaz, an actress-singer who tours nationally in concert. “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.”

Ball made their Beverly Hills house 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,” Arnaz said.

Her Cuban-born dad added a memorable touch one particular Christmas Eve. Young Lucie awoke to the sound of clattering on the roof, followed by a man in a red suit bringing gifts into her room. As Arnaz recalls: “He bent over and kissed me and said, ‘Merry Christmas!’ ” (here she adapts a Cuban accent) “I thought, ‘Santa sounds just like daddy.’ 

Years later, Ball confirmed the memory.

“He got all liquored up and banged on the roof and got in his Santa suit with the presents and the whole thing,” the comedienne told her daughter. “And then he had to open his mouth.”

Lucie Arnaz, 62, said she was about 7 when her parents split up, and she and her brother then had two holidays: one at the Beverly Hills home with Ball and then a Cuban version at Arnaz’s thoroughbred horse ranch east of Los Angeles, complete with a roasted pig.

She fondly recalls watching her parents on the set of I Love Lucy, and hopes the I Love Lucy Christmas Special (8 p.m. Friday, CBS) will introduce the sitcom to a new generation of viewers. The hourlong program includes colorized versions of a Christmas special and one in which Lucy memorably stomps grapes for wine in Italy. A newly released DVD includes those and a third episode, Lucy Goes to Scotland.

Read more Entertainment stories from the Miami Herald

  • Coming to town

    Spend the night with Joan Collins

    Cue the Dynasty music and break out the shoulder pads — Joan Collins is coming to town Friday night with her one-woman show. But don’t expect the Hollywood legend, 80, to focus on her time as bitchy Alexis Carrington Colby on the famed ’80s night soap opera. Collins has quite the acting pedigree, having debuted on the London stage at the age of 9 before she made it on the big screen in such 1950s movies as The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing and Rally Round the Flag Boys. Still quick as a whip, the glamorous as all get-out Brit will tell you all about her illustrious career and more during One Night with Joan at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek.

  •  
FILE - This July 6, 2013 file photo shows Bollywood actors Sridevi and Prabhu Deva, left in yellow, performing during the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards in Macau. The IIFA is holding its annual awards ceremony in Tampa this week. The city is an unusual choice for the awards extravaganza, but tourism officials hope it will be an economic boon to Tampa, which has hosted four Super Bowls and the Republican National Convention.

    Indian film awards arrive in Tampa, Fla., but why?

    The so-called Bollywood Oscars have been held in Macau, Singapore, London — and now, Tampa?

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">IN THE KITCHEN:</span> Myles Chefetz does a tasting in the kitchen at Prime Fish with chef Todd Zimmer, April 14, 2014. Chefetz also owns Prime 112, Prime Italian, Big Pink and the upcoming Prime Private. Chefetz is one of the most successful restaurateurs in Miami.

    RESTAURANTS

    Myles Chefetz, Michael Schwartz dominate Miami’s fine-dining scene

    Myles Chefetz and Michael Schwartz, who were once business partners, each went their own way — Chefetz to South Beach, Schwartz to the Design District. They now dominate Miami’s fine-dining scene.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category