"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" — here she adapts a Cuban accent — "'Merry Christmas!' I thought, 'Santa sounds just like daddy.'"
Years later, Ball confirmed the memory.
"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, 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. EST Friday, CBS) will introduce the sitcom to a new generation of viewers.
The hour-long 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."