The Highly Practical (Yet Sweet!) $4 Gift I’m Giving Everyone This Year

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Credit: Dreamwood - Michael & Lucy/Stocksy

If you’re anything like me, as soon as that Halloween cat costume goes back into storage, you immediately start planning your holiday gifts for friends and family. Striking the right balance between useful, heartfelt, and, let’s be honest, affordable can be difficult. But if there is anything that 2020 has taught me, it’s that DIY projects check all those boxes. And there’s no better multipurpose vessel for homemade, food-focused gifts than mason jars.

Mason jars are a kitchen staple, and with everyone doing so much cooking in recent months, there has even been a mason jar shortage. But right now, an entire 12-pack of Ball’s classic 16-ounce jars are available for $40 on Amazon (that’s about $3.33 per jar), making it the perfect time to snap them up for holiday cooking or gifting. 

These time-tested, wide-mouth jars fill easily, and their sealable bands and lids are designed to preserve maximum tastiness while keeping food safe from contamination. The lids are BPA free, so even without a sterilizing water bath, your edible goodies will be safe. The jars are also dishwasher safe, so if your project is messy or you simply want to reuse them, cleanup is a cinch.

Credit: Lauren Volo

The 12-pack makes it especially easy to check a dozen people off your holiday list. After all, what goes better with all of that sourdough your friends have been baking than homemade jam? Or how about doling out some winter warmth in the form of your signature tomato sauce or slow-cooked chili? If canning isn’t your thing, give your loved ones a jar of pre-measured ingredients for a favorite cookie recipe or a comforting mac and cheese mix.

After 125 years of making mason jars, Ball certainly knows what they are doing. As one Amazon reviewer gushed, “I. Love. These. Jars.” And I have to agree. With all of the DIY gift ideas swirling around in my brain, I’m snapping up a case today before they sell out again.