Beistle was truly scraping the very bottom of the creative barrel with most of the diecuts in the set to which this belongs. What does a laughing donut balanced on a coffee cup have anything to do with Halloween?
08/05 Update: A faithful reader just filled me in on why Beistle would have included this design in a Halloween diecut set. Let Carol tell you in her own words:
"Hi Mark, about the doughnut.....You've probably been clued in already, if so please excuse me. In the old movie, "Meet Me In Saint Louis", there is a Halloween scene where the kids are given doughnuts instead of candy. Also, the returning GIs were quite taken with coffee and doughnuts because of the USO. Halloween didn't really go to the kids until the 50's. So, I guess a laughing doughnut in a cup of coffee was very Halloween-like.
Love your blog!"
I love information like this! Thanks so much for the information! You're a regular Nancy Drew!
08/09 Update: Another long-time reader shared her insight as to this diecut and the memories it conjures for her. Let Lisa tell you in her own words:
"I really liked your post on the infamous coffee and doughnut die cut that surfaces on ebay now and again. I think that your reader was correct. It's an old time thing to be sure. When I was a little girl ( quite a long time ago ) there was an old Victorian house at the end of our street where 2 little old ladies lived. Every Halloween they would open up the doors and invite all of the children inside for their Halloween treats. The house was fantastic and filled with lots of really old things. There in the kitchen next to a huge, black cast iron stove there was a long table decorated with all manner of early Halloween decorations. The treats that they served were mugs of hot tea ( coffee for the grownups ) and platters of doughnuts. They always maintained that when they were young, that's what was proper fare for Halloween. I just loved going there but nearly all of the other kids didn't like it at all. They wanted to collect huge bags of candy and not stand around wasting time in some spooky old house eating stupid donuts with 2 little old ladies. The crowd dwindled but I continued to go there nearly every Halloween for many years... into adulthood. It is the very best memory in the world and the reason why I still love ( and collect ) Halloween today. Thanks to you and your reader ( and that silly little die cut ) for bringing that to mind today."