Focus on the Family with Jim Daly

Celebrating Christmas as a Family

Celebrating Christmas as a Family

Gather ‘round the fireplace with the Robertson clan from A&E’s Duck Dynasty while they share their favorite family Christmas stories. On this one day Focus on the Family broadcast, you’ll hear Phil, Kay, their four sons and wives, Phil’s long-lost daughter, and Uncle Si as they reminisce and recall Robertson family Christmas memories. From duck hunting gone awry to silly Christmas antics, you’ll feel right at home!
Original Air Date: December 23, 2022


Jase Robertson: God is the one that makes things grow. And uh, we’ve, the reason we’ve stuck together and flourished through the wilderness and through success is ’cause our faith and trust was in that there’s a God. We acknowledge our flaws and difficulties ’cause let’s face it, we’re all flawed. We don’t even act to be smart or experts on anything, but we just are who we are. And we believe that God uses us, in spite of our difficulties, to make Jesus look real good.

End of Preview

John Fuller: That’s Jase Robertson, and you’ll hear more from him and most of the Robertson family on today’s episode of Focus on the Family. Your host is president and author Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: I am so excited to share this conversation with you today, especially if you’re a fan of the hit television show, Duck Dynasty. Uh, the Robertsons have become such good friends of the ministry, and we’ve really enjoyed getting to know each of them. Uh, we hosted a special event at Sea Island in Georgia and for the first time ever, uh, 13 members of the Robertson clan, including Phil’s recently discovered daughter, uh, gathered on stage. It was awesome. And we gave each family member an ornament that symbolized something in their lives. So, you’ll hear some of their fun stories and fond memories, and you’ll probably laugh a lot as well.

John: Indeed, yeah.

Jim: Uh, the Robertsons aren’t shy about sharing their faith and the way the Lord redeemed their stories. Each of them have experienced trials of one sort or another, kind of like the rest of us. And they have come out on the other side proclaiming God’s glory. As we’re just days away from celebrating Christmas, this conversation will remind you of God’s goodness and his love.

John: And you’re going to hear from Phil and Kay Robertson, Al and Lisa, Jase and Missy, Willie and Korie, Jep and Jessica and-

Jim: (laughs)

John: … as Jim mentioned Phil’s daughter Phyllis, and you’re even gonna hear from Uncle Si. And we’re gonna begin our episode as Miss Kay receives her Christmas ornament.

Jim: I think we’re gonna start with Miss Kay. Go ahead, Al.

Al Robertson: All right mom. Open up your gift. Mom loves opening gifts. All right, so mom-

Kay Robertson: These are so cute.

Al: All right so you got a whisk and a rolling pin.

Kay: And I use them all the time.

Al: Right. And so obviously that means a lot about cooking, so we want you to tell a little bit about why cooking is important and kind of how that came about? How’d you learn how to do what you do?

Kay: Well, I lived half the time with my grandmother because we had a big store in the town. I’ll, It was the biggest store in the town. We lived of about 300 people. But, uh, so I got to stay with my nanny and, uh, her whole thing was on cooking, cooking, and cooking and cooking more. So, uh, she let me start helping her. I love rolling out the dough. I learned so much with her and it was just so fun. I mean, I just couldn’t imagine a life without learning how to cook. Well then, I did really well, some learning her stuff that then when I hooked up was right here, my other half, maybe better half, I don’t know. But his mother cooked different, than I, than my grandma did. So what did I have to do? Learn how to cook like his mother cook. But I mastered that and then I even came out with some of my own recipes myself. And I’m, I’m not a scholar or anything like that, in fact I barely made it through high school, but I promised him I’d bring them cookies, teachers, you know, I bribed and stuff like that and I made it. I did.

Phil Robertson: There’s smart-

Kay: Because food’s wh-

Phil: … and then there’s smart, Kay.

Kay: … foods help. You use the talent you have. Mine was cooking and food. And, uh, anyway, and then I learned to cook like Phil’s mother so he was happy, happy boy. And, uh, so anyway, food has always been important, not just the food but the kitchen. And I mean, I even had Jason’s daughter over and brought 10 or 15, I don’t know how many of her, her classmates in college, to learn how to make chicken and dumplings. I was thrilled they wanted me to teach ’em that. We were a while learning it. They learned how to roll the dough and put ’em in. It was a fun night. We had to get rid of Phil of course, he would’ve, huh, been in there with Fox News or something. So we sent him over to our workers but I’m gonna tell you something, I was just thrilled that my grandkids wanted me to teach their friends how to cook. And most of my boys can cook, not as well as others. Alan’s a dessert man. Uh, Willie can cook anything under the sun and add more and more and more stuff. So Willie, Willie’s really a good cook. Alan’s got the desserts down. Jason can cook a lot of good wild game and stuff, or probably, I know, I just remember, I always see him and cooked fried potatoes really well and other things. And, uh, where’s my other son? Jep? Yeah, Jep (laughs). He cooks too-

Jim: He’s the baby.

Kay: He’s the baby. He’s the sweeter one, of course. But he can cook. He can cook very well. Hi- Him and his wife both are great cooks, but most all my daughter-in-laws are. Korie’s a little slow around the edge. But I’m gonna tell you something, she loves me, she loves me. And, um, she’s got many other talents too. It’s not just in cooking. That’s just my feel. And it’s what I love and, and it’s my passion. And, uh, I think it draws a lot of people to our house. What do you think, Phil?

Phil: No doubt about it, a lot of them. We have taken, uh, hospitality to a new level. It’s mentioned about five times, practice hospitality, and check this out, without grumbling. You say, why would Peter the Apostle, when he wrote that, why would he add “without grumbling”? Because you work and you work, you finally get a big pot of gumbo, you’ve worked on it all day. It’s perfect. As they’re leaving, going up the road, you shouldn’t be saying, I cannot believe the amount they ate.

Al: So, uh, who’s, who’s up next on the list?

Jim: Si.

Al: All right, Si-

Jim: Although who, who taught who to do squirrel?

Kay: My- to, to do squirrel-

Jim: Who, who- Did you start the squirrel?

Kay: Oh, Phil’s mother taught me how to do squirrel. And I’m gonna tell you something, I love to eat squirrel. I know you think it’s gross, but I mean, he’s a good eat. If you’re starving, you’ll like it.

Al: We better move along or this is the Kay show right here. All right, Si, what you got? Open yours up. Si’s gift.

Jim: I’m sitting down.

Si Robertson: I got a, I got a Tupperware cup with a string on it and it’s got Merry Christmas Jack. Yeah.

Al: So what does the Tupperware cup mean to you, Si?

Willie Robertson: End of story.

Si: That’s all you got boys. There ain’t nothin else.

Missy Robertson: Okay, wait, wait, wait. Didn’t she send you the Tupperware cup to Vietnam? I thought that was part of the story.

Si: Well, okay. Well look, right-

Willie: That’s the better story Si.

Si: Look, hey, when you got as many stories as I got, it’s hard to keep them straight. So look, I went to Vietnam. I was in college first with this man, and two of my older brothers, okay? And, uh, see, they didn’t understand. I, I majored in women and minored in party.

Willie: So eventually Si did go to Vietnam and did get Tupperware cups sent to him.

Si: Oh.

Al: Goodnight, everyone, goodnight.

Si: Hey!

Willie: There you go.

Al: Been great seeing you.

Si: I’m sorry about this chasing rabbits. I forgot all about the Tupperware cup.

Jase: Y’all got Si-de-tracked. (laughter)

Al: Yeah, that’s what we call getting side.

Willie: What do you wanna do-

Si: Oh who’s up next?

Al: All right, who’s up next, yeah?

Jim: I think it’s you.

Al: Is it me?

Jim: Yeah.

Al: All right-

Jim: You and Lisa.

Al: … Lisa, open it up.

Jim: There you go.

Lisa Robertson: All right. So this looks like a blank canvas.

Al: Blank canvas.

Jim: Blank canvas.

Al: Blank canvas, what could it possibly-

Lisa: So what could it possibly mean?

Jim: What do you think?

Lisa: Um, I don’t know, but here’s what I think. I think that, um, that Alan and I are, um, so transparent with our lives and, and with the mistakes that we’ve made and what, and then again, what the Lord has done in our life that, you know, we’re just, we’re a blank canvas. And whatever he wants to put on here, wherever he wants to take us, whatever he wants to lead us into, um, that’s where we’re going, because we’re so grateful for him bringing us through, um, the tough times and the hard times. Wherever, you know, we think back to where we were, as to where we are now. And, um, and we both say the same thing, And this took a long time to get there. Um, the things that we have went through in our, in our lives, in our, in our marriage, we would go back through them all again, if that’s the way that God has for us to be where we are today. If we could be in the same spot, we’ll do it all over again. That’s how grateful we are. That’s how blessed we are. And that’s how much… Um, we’re just so excited to do what we do today.

Al: Yeah, our partnership with, uh, with Focus came about because we met Jim and to be honest, and we went out to, to do the radio show. Uh, I didn’t really know the setup, I’d never met Jim before and 10 minutes in his office, I knew, I was like, we’re gonna be friends. Uh, because he said it last night, perfection is not required. And that’s what I love about Focus on the Family. Focus on the Family is focusing on sometimes the difficulties of a family and how to help people get better. And so, uh, we partnered with a book with Focus called Desperate Forgiveness. Uh, it’s now one of the resource books for Focus and we couldn’t be prouder of, of being able to do that with Focus. So I think you nailed it, mate. That’s our blank canvas.

Jim: Yeah, not… If you haven’t heard that program, download it from the website or the app because it’s one of the most powerful stories. It will bless you about mistakes and God’s grace in the do-overs. And this couple right here magnifies it so very well, that’s awesome. Willie and Korie.

Willie: All right.

Al: Here we go.

Willie: I hope it’s miniature (laughs). Oh, that’s a mini jukebox. Know what-

Al: You can tell from back there?

Willie: Wow. Uh, no idea. (Laughing)

Korie Robertson: I think they want you to sing, babe.

Willie: Uh, yeah. So, uh, so in order to… When we grew up, we were really poor and, um, right, Kay? We were poor, yeah.

Kay: We were poor-

Willie: Yeah.

Kay: … poor. Free lunches and up.

Willie: So I was always trying to hustle up money. And I came up with this idea and it was called the Human Jukebox. And, um, so it was not near as lucrative as the gum and candy, but what you do is you put a quarter in my armpit and then I would mechanically drop it into my pocket and you would punch on my chest and you would pick a song for me to sing for a quarter. I mean, I had no money in it, it was just, you know, it was good money. And so I would sing all… So Al has this 8-track player. And so, uh, Al had all these 8 tracks and I had memorized all the lyrics to these songs. The song that everybody always wanted to hear was this song called Juke Box Hero by Foreigner. So once Duck Dynasty started, we were in L.A., I was in there talking to an agent who was gonna represent us. And I look in the restaurant and I see Guy Fieri sitting at the table, and I am freaking out, I’m like… So I’m waiting, I’m waiting, I’m waiting until right the right moment when he stands up, and I slid in there and I said, Guy, how you doing? Uh, love your show. I love to eat. Uh, I love traveling, I love everything about, you know. And I was so excited and, and this guy beside him stands up. He’s this tall guy, long hair, sunglasses on, 10 o’clock at night, and I’m thinking, L.A., and he goes, this is, uh, Kelly Hanson, he’s the lead singer of Foreigner. And I’m looking, I go, oh (laughs), when I was in fifth grade, I did this thing called the Human Jukebox. (singing) And I’m looking at this cat and he is not smiling, he’s not making any gestures. He’s just staring at me like, I mean, and I’m going, “Well, anyway, I’m a big fan.” And he goes, hang on. He, he tilted the sunglasses down. He goes, “Uh, is that when you were peeing the bed?” And I thought, how does he know I peed the bed? We ain’t even wrote a book yet. I’m like, how did he know that? And then it hit me, Si made fun of me on the TV show about peeing the bed.

Si: Yep.

Willie: And I said, “How did you?” And he goes, “Willie, I’ve never missed an episode of Duck Dynasty.” The Human Jukebox was real.

Jim: Seems like it worked. That’s awesome. Jase.

Willie: It’s a teeny tiny house.

Jase: Oh, it’s a house.

Missy: Let’s think. (laughs)

Jase: There’s a lot going-

Missy: We live-

Jase: … on in our house right now.

Missy: There is a lot going on in our house. But when I look at this and I think about our house, I think about our children. And I think most of us up here have children that were not our own that became our own, whether on paper or just in our hearts. And so we had, I think as a little girl, I said, when I grow up, I’m gonna have two boys and a, and a girl, and I’m gonna have one girl ’cause I wanna spoil her. I remember saying that as a child. When we grew up, had two boys and a girl. And then we had another girl who was 18, who became a part of our family just a few years ago from Nicaragua. She’s, uh, total orphaned and worked her way up, got a scholarship in Germany. Through a long story but she, basically during the unrest in Nicaragua, could not get back home. And through her pastor there who knew us, called us and said, can she stay at your house for about a month before, ’cause she has a full ride scholarship to college in the USA. I said, sure, we’ll let her stay in our guest room. And when she came and we found out her story, we fell in love with her. She had no family, and she became ours and we became hers. And that was four and a half years ago. So she’s ours, even though it’s not on paper, she’s our family. And then, um, we have a grandbaby and another one on the way, so I consider that my kids of some sort. But then, um, about eight months ago, the Lord dropped, literally dropped, a brand-new baby into our laps. And we’ve had him for the past eight months. And we don’t know what his future is. We don’t know what his story’s gonna be. But when I think about this house, I think about all the things that we all have done for children and for our families. This is our sanctuary. And we teach our children literally on a nightly basis the word of God. How to pray to God, singing songs to God and praises to him. And now we’re doing that all over again with someone who’s not even our family because he doesn’t have that for him in his life. So that’s what this represents to me, is a house full of love.

Jim: Amen.

Jase: Good job. Uh, I got, I got one. Yeah, he’s been a blessing. I mean, look, we’ve realized there’s a reason people in their 50s are not having kids anymore. So, uh, being honest. But you notice more now about subtleties that I took for granted when my kids were here. And uh, you know, it goes in the face of all these arguments in our world that these kids that, you know, they, they might just ‘ought to be aborted rather than come up in difficult situations. And when I see a kid like this that was born, that had zero people, zero, zero family, come forward and say, “Hey, we’ll, we’ll take care of him.” I mean, that’s just sobering in and of itself to imagine that, to be born on a planet where no one wants to step up and say you’re worth something. So somewhere through that, when you see him smile, he… And look, he’s never met a stranger. But he’s way better a baby than any of our kids were. Come outta chaos. So it’s been a blessing and uh, there’s, there’s a verse in Hebrews 12 that says, you know, let’s fix your eyes on Jesus and throw off the sin that’s so easily entangles. We, we remember that, but it also says in the things that weigh us down. And I finally realized that there’s a lot of things that God gives us that may be difficult and they may weigh you down, but they’re actually blessings. It’s just the way we’re handling it, is what’s weighing us down. And so when you get your attitude right and realize, you know, this is, this is a gift from God, it tends to put things into perspective. But I was just gonna say, when you read the Bible in Act 17, God does not live in buildings built by hands. You read Hebrews 3:4, it says every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. My point is, it’s not in buildings, it’s not in a house or how big it is or… ‘Cause our house was really small and uh, my parents made a lot of money and guess what? They live in the same small house. But God is the things that, is the, is the one that makes things grow. And uh, we’ve, the reason we’ve stuck together and flourished through the wilderness and through success is ’cause our faith and trust was in the, there’s a God, we acknowledge our flaws and difficulties ’cause let’s face it, we’re all flawed. We don’t even act to be smart or experts on anything, but we just are who we are and we believe that God uses us, in spite of our difficulties, to make Jesus look real good.

Jim: Man, that is so, so good. Yeah, give him a hand.

Audience: (Applause)

Jim: I think it’s Jep and Jessica, right? I don’t know where your, where your little gift is. There it is.

Jep Robertson: I’m the quiet one, as you can tell.

Jim: How did you survive in this family?

Jep: Barely, to be honest with you, I just-

Al: No, my mom spoiled you.

Jessica Robertson: Texas.

Jim: He’s the baby-

Jessica: Texas.

Jep: Okay, so we got a Texa- Yeah. So we moved to Texas for a while. Do you wanna tell the story or?

Jessica: No you tell.

Jep: No you tell.

Jase: I think we have breaking news here.

Jessica: You tell it better. Oh my gosh. So, um, after the show ended, we, we’re the babies of both families. We never went off to college. So we were like, let’s do something different. Our kids were little, we were homeschooling and so we moved to Texas, Austin, Texas, and uh, we had a lot of friends there. Uh, we lived there for five years. It was great. Um, we, uh, found a great school. We got, found an awesome church to go to. Uh, it was great for our kids. Um, and now we, our two oldest are actually at ACU, going to college, we love. Phil, there you go. Uh, so we love, uh, love ACU. But um, so we decided obviously when our kids were older, um, like when they were graduating college, or high school, going to college, we were like, we really miss family. We really want to be home. And uh, my parents are there, we, my sisters. And so we were just kind of biding our time till the, the kids graduated. But we are so happy ’cause we moved back, uh, to our house on the same street as all the brothers.

Korie: Amen.

Jessica: That’s right. So we’re back with family and we are loving it. And what else are you gonna say about Texas? I love Texas.

Jep: No, we had a great time. I think it was a good experience for us. We had never lived anywhere else in our life, so it really brought us together and um, we didn’t have a lot of help. Like we didn’t, you know, we were our own babysitters for our kids. And um, it was good. We learned a lot. Um, I think we grew in the Lord, but I’m really happy to be back home with family and we missed you guys. We love you.

Jim: All right, Phil, you have your, uh, box there and that’ll give you a chance to respond and kind of talk about this.

Phil: It’s a little truck.

Al: I think it’s supposed to represent the, the truck that you, when you drove to Monroe, uh, to tell mom you wanted your family back, how that changed your life.

Phil: I did, I pulled up, you know, I’d run her off and uh-

Kay: He kicked us out, me and the kids.

Phil: … you know, all these texts, you read in the Bible, you know, about the love of Jesus and, uh, he, he did this incredible showing up in flesh. He dies a horrible death for idiots like me, sinful men. And guaranteed we could be raised from the dead. Start over again. Trust me when I tell you I had that old truck. I pulled up in the parking lot where she was working and the day finally came where I said, okay, I’m done with it. I’m done with Satan. I said, got to, got to make a change here. So a guy came to me, he put the gospel on me. I didn’t even know what it was. He asked me, “You know, you probably obeyed the gospel?” I said, “What, you talk about gospel music on the radio, the Chuck wagon gang, these old groups?” I said, “Obey the gospel. How, how do you do that?” He went on to show me, starts with faith in Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection. He came, he died. There goes my sin penalty and the drunkenness stopped, the cursing stopped. By one sacrifice all your past sins removed, forgotten, gone. And on top of that, none of your future sins because he’s at the right hand of the Father after he died, was buried, raised, went back, sat down, sat down at the right hand of God 24/7. You make mistakes as you follow Jesus. He’s made us perfect forever. The Hebrew writer said, as we’re being made holy, but we still make mistakes not counted against you. He’s made us perfect through bloodshed on our cross. What I came to that realization and boy did life ever change for me.

Audience: (Applause)

John: What a fun, wonderful conversation with the Robertson family on today’s episode of Focus on the Family, and I so enjoyed hearing their stories and memories and the laughter as well.

Jim: It was amazing, John and I was touched by the way Miss Kay and the four brothers embraced Phil’s daughter Phyllis. None of them shy away from talking about the choices that they’ve made, but they plainly acknowledge the way God intervened in their lives and called them into something different. And I hope you’ve enjoyed, uh, reminiscing with the Robertson family. Christmas is a great time to reflect on God’s goodness, mercy and love as we celebrate the birth of Christ. And I pray your Christmas will be a blessed one.

John: And if you’d like to celebrate more with the Robertsons, particularly looking toward next year, we have Phil and Kay’s terrific book, Exploring the Joy of Christmas. And we’ll be happy to, uh, make that available to you when you donate to Focus on the Family today. A gift of any amount makes a big difference. And we’ll say thanks by sending the book to you.

Jim: And let me remind you that Focus on the Family is here for you. We have top-notch resources to help you in your faith, uh, your marriage and your parenting. From online articles to videos and books, to a team of caring Christian counselors who can provide you with answers and direction. When you order resources through Focus, the proceeds go right back into helping couples on the verge of divorce, maybe families in crisis, bewildered parents and others who simply need a touch of hope. With Christmas just around the corner, you can share that hope as well as the healing, the peace, the grace, and the joy that Jesus Christ came to give all of us. Through your support of Focus on the Family, you can come alongside those who are struggling and give these families hope. Your support is critical to help us finish the year strong and be ready to reach even more families in 2023. And we’re grateful to have you partner with us.

John: Right now, we do have a special year-end matching opportunity, which means your gift will be effectively doubled. Your donation will go twice as far to bring healing and redemption to even more families. Contribute today and request your copy of Exploring the Joy of Christmas when you’re at Or call 1-800 the letter A and the word FAMILY, 800-232-6459. Well, as Jim said, from all of us here at Focus on the Family, Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones and plan to join us on Monday, we’re gonna hear from Dr. John Townsend. It’s another Best of 2022 program about People Fuel.


Dr. John Townsend: Proverbs chapter 4, verse 23, guard your heart, for from it flow the wellsprings of life. If I don’t take care of my heart, which is my emotions and my values and my schedule and all that, then I’m not gonna be able to give it to anybody else.

End of Preview

John: On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, I’m John Fuller. I’m inviting you back as we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

Exploring the Joy of Christmas: Stories, Carols & More

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