One of my most stalwart of readers wrote me just now to posit this idea:
"I very much enjoyed your readers' comments regarding the laughing doughnut decoration. It is sometimes difficult to know what influences a particular design. I have sometimes wondered if the Beistle Halloween decorations that feature fairies were influenced by the Cottingley fairy hoax. Although the photographs allegedly showing real fairies in a garden were taken by two young English girls in 1917, they received quite a bit of publicity in this country after Arthur Conan Doyle published them in 1920. Of course, there may have already been an interest in fairies that impacted both the Cottingley girls and the Beistle artists.
I think Cindy R. is on to something! Thanks so much!!