When Debbie Stenulson moved to Blanco more than twenty years ago, she found that because she hadn’t met many people, she was often lonely during the holidays.
Deciding to do something to get in the spirit of the holidays, Stenulson began to organize a cookie exchange party.
She enlisted the help of a fellow soccer mom, Connie, and the two each invited six women. Each guest was to bring 12 dozen cookies and they would exchange them, so that everyone left with twelve dozen different cookies.
The party was a huge success and became an annual event, the guest list growing every year.
The tenth year, however, way before the party was even being planned, Debbie was diagnosed with stage four inflammatory breast cancer.
Within a month she underwent chemotherapy; two months later she underwent a mastectomy. Her doctors wanted to try an experimental form of stem-cell therapy starting in December.
Even though she was undergoing treatments, she was determined to still have her annual party. She moved the party up to the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
Friends came together to help her make her cookies; peanut butter, sugar, pecan and brownie shortbread... all in preparation for the celebration.
That year, as the ladies all sat around nibbling cookies and enjoying each other’s company, Debbie realized why she threw her party despite being ill; the party was full of life, and she was alive. She was grateful for the bonds that she had formed in the years since she had come to Blanco, and couldn’t imagine fighting for her life anywhere else.
Ten years later, and the group no longer exchanges cookies, but they still get together and exchange gifts. Debbie still makes cookies for the party, but she now makes ‘Angel Biscuits’, a glorified buttermilk biscuit recipe.
Her ‘Angel Biscuits’ symbolize the angels in her life, the friends that surround her during the holidays, and who also played a big part in helping her get through cancer.