21 Days Till Christmas

Reader, I was feeling discouraged. I perused the Frontgate catalog: no ridiculous gifts. I checked out L.L. Bean: nothing non-essential for a self-sufficient, dog-loving, fashion-averse New Englander (none of which I am — but a girl can dream).

I’d just about given up when I just finished reading a back issue of the New York Times Sunday Magazine, and bingo! I fell across an ad for a Violight Zapi Toothbrush Sanitizer.

What? You don’t own a toothbrush sanitizer???? Oh. My. God. I can’t believe you’ve gone all these years without the ninjas. No, wait: I can’t believe you’ve survived with all those nasty dirty ickies on your toothbrush. You should be dead by now.

Here’s the ad copy from the Times:

A Spa For Your Toothbrush. Give the gift of health this holiday season. Violight’s Zapi Toothbrush Sanitzers keep your toothbrush germ free. UV light eliminates 99% of strep, staph, e.coli, salmonella, listeria, and even H1N1.

Wait — woah. H1N1? Presumably, if you’ve got swine flu on your toothbrush, it’s because . . . you’ve got swine flu. When did toothbrushes become communal property? Unless you’ve got a full-body sanitizer, zapping your toothbrush with UV rays won’t accomplish much. As for the other stuff, here’s my advice: don’t store your toothbrush in the toilet.

You’re welcome.

I applaud personal hygiene. And I’m all over the Purell thing. What’s more, having contracted the chicken pox at the age of 28, when I  not only didn’t have children, I didn’t even know any children, I appreciate that supermarkets supply antibiotic wipes so you don’t pick up stray viruses from the carts. But unless you’ve got some recurring oral infections, sanitizing your toothbrush seems a little silly.

Also, what kind of a gift is this? “The family couldn’t help noticing your breath issues (though we’ve tried). Here’s to a sweet smelling 2012!”

Then again, while I have neither the time nor the inclination to validate Violight’s claims (hey, I’m a novelist, not a journalist), others have given it a big thumbs up. According to the Violight website, esteemed medical professionals including Oprah and — wait for it — Rachel Ray!!!! have endorsed this product. So you can make the call for yourself.

As for me, if I’m looking for a way to keep my toothbrush clean — or at least cleanish — I’ll opt for something like this:


More Best Worst Holiday Gifts:


Forever Lazy

A Pig

Wine Hourglasses


A signed book makes a great holiday gift. Click here for free, personalized bookplates.