Perhaps, you should consider a set of juggling balls.
Research has shown that working with one's hands while thinking, increases brain activity and generates greater creative flow.
Juggling is a fun clinical approach to improving one's mental, emotional and of course physical well-being. It is form of activity that works to balance both hemispheres of the brain (right brain & left brain) to improve motor-skill functions, reading, writing, creativity and ability to focus on tasks. It can help reduce and prevent the development of Anxiety, Alzheimer's and depression.
While you're at it, grab a classical CD. According to numerous studies have shown that classical music has a quantitative effect on us intellectually and emotionally. It's referred to as the "Mozart Effect."
Psychologists at the University of Leicester, UK, played music of different tempos to herds of Friesian cattle. Dairy cows produce more milk when listening to relaxing music, say researchers. They believe farmers could get an extra pint from their charges by playing classical music or smoochy numbers in the cowshed.
So, if your stumped for economical, actually useful gifts ideas. Grab a set of juggling balls and a Mozart CD and make someone in your life a little brighter, smarter, neurologically healthy, not to mention creative.
If you're cheap... The dollar store typically has classical CD's, as well as medium size bouncy balls. Do a little creative wrap-job and presto...