The Lamy Safari  is the perfect first fountain pen, and a great everyday jotter for someone who already has something more expensive. It’s cheap (about $22,) it writes beautifully and is built to last. 


Honorable mention in the writing instruments category goes to the Kawako Classic Sport. It’s around the same price and I hear good things. 
Say the writer on your list has been really good this year and you’re tempted to go all out and spring for a Mont Blanc, don’t. Instead, may I recommend the Sailor 1911 (AKA the ‘Sailor Profit’ in Japan.) Its design is based on the MB, some would say copied; but, alas, copyrights weren’t what they are now… Like Japanese cars and watches, Japanese pens more than make up in design and quality what they lack in pedigree and national reputation. You get a better pen at a better price. I bought mine in Japan–where they’re cheaper still–and I haven’t put it out of reach since loaded the first cartridge. This is my pen for life.