This post includes product recommendations. This is my honest opinion on what the best product I think is to buy and what I would purchase for myself. You will find Amazon affiliate links but I have not been paid by the maker of this product to endorse it.
I have to say right now that the concept of canning is not on my mind at all. With my garden virtually dead of every living thing besides the kale struggling to hold on and a few select herbs. However, that doesn't mean that I am not thinking about Ball Jars. In fact I think there are some great items from Ball that you can give away as Christmas gifts, even if the receiver isn't going to can something for another 6 months (or ever!). Ball isn't just for canning enthusiasts anymore.
Below I assembled a list of items that would make wonderful gifts this holiday season.
Sip and Straw Lids
When we found out that this was actually a thing, my wife couldn't wait to get them. You can turn any Ball jar into a drinking glass. Large jars, medium jars, small jars - they all work. The lids themselves fit perfectly. Great for smoothies. The straws are of high quality and are easy to suck smoothies through. I also loved them for whenever we do a juice fast. We use a 32 oz Ball jar for the juice and then put a regular lid on it. Do all 3 juices for the day and then when we are ready to drink them, just pop off the lid and pop on the sip lid, insert straw and enjoy. They have: regular mouth and wide mouth
We own both types and use them all the time. One of our most used purchases of 2014.
If you prefer drinking out of something with a handle, then try the Ball Drinking Mugs. You can buy the sip and straw lids will work with these mugs for a great combo gift.
If you are bored of ordinary water or like those flavored waters, you can make your own with their jar infusor. Place lemon, berries, mint, etc into the infusor that sits right down into the water and you don't have to worry it getting in the way as you are drinking. They fit on any jar, just select whether you need a wide mouth or a regular mouth infusor.
Ball® Collapsible Funnel
Here is a Ball product that will come in handy for canning as well as everyday use - a collapsible funnel. Takes up less space, so easier to store and is made to fit both regular and wide mouth Ball Jars and will work for non Ball items as well.
Ball Dry Herb Jars
For storing your dried herbs or spices these jars with a shaker lid are a good choice. Although I don't usually shake anything out of the lids, preferring to take the lids off and use a measuring spoon, I still like the size of these jars. They fit well in my spice drawer. I have cinnamon, ginger, ground mustard, and garlic powder in them as I write this.
Other Gift Ideas
Besides these ideas, you can just give the gift of jars. The small jars are very useful for things other than just food. If you have a crafter in your family, they will find many uses for a set of small jars. Or if you have a friend that is really into canning, they could always use extra lids or rings. They make great stocking stuffers. Of course you can become really creativity with who you give your Ball jars by including something inside them. Ball has a ongoing list of ideas on their facebook page.