Rain chains are a beautiful and functional alternative to traditional, closed gutter downspouts. They visibly guide rain water down chains, cups or rings from the roof to the ground, creating a soft tinkling sound of individual droplets rather than gushing rain.
Installation is pretty simple. They hang from a hole where the downspout was, if there is a mismatch due to the downspout hole size, you just need to purchase an installation piece.
The Japanese often put a ceramic or stoneware pot beneath the chain which fills with water. Filled with rocks, it makes a beautiful display.
Northwoods Home has a nice selection of chains and a copper vessel to collect the rainwater. Reasonably priced, these copper chains are a beautiful addition to your home and make a lovely gift.