Fortunately, I decided to get the present arranged early anyway, and sure enough, right on the stroke of midnight, I heard the jeep pull up. So I got the camera in its bigass case hidden under the covers (it looked like an office building had crawled into bed), put the card on top, and waited. I could hear the scrabble scrabble of the dogs running to meet him, then he went into the office...I could hear the thunk, thunk, as his two shoes came off...finally, I called out to him, "It's your birrrrrthdayyyy..." and he said, "I'll be there in a sec," and then he came in and eyed the enormous block of something under the bedspread. "I'm scared," he said.
Anyway, he loved it. I think it was a bit overwhelming, maybe it even put some pressure on him, too. Here's your DV-Cam, now you have to make movies. But he's already talking about what he's going to do first, so I think this will turn out very well.
He certainly deserves it.