21 Days of Christmas | Celebrate with… Robert Ettinger

The deserts of Oman’s Empty Quarter may not sound like a typical destination to spend Christmas, but for Robert Ettinger, CEO of luxury leather accessories brand Ettinger, it’s an experience not to be missed. Discover more in today’s ‘Celebrate with…’ (and why a pair of Stephen Einhorn cufflinks are top of Robert’s gift list).  

How will you be celebrating Christmas this year?
I have now traded in the Christmas crowds in the European ski resorts, for the peace and tranquillity of camping in the deserts of the Empty Quarter, Oman. To the amazement of the local Bedu, we choose to go into this harsh, inhospitable wilderness when their ancestors have spent so much time trying to get safely out! But to watch the sun rising over a sand dune is one of life’s great experiences that should not be missed. The silence, the remoteness and the colours are both breathtaking and daunting.

What gift are you hoping to receive in your stocking?
Certainly not the most likely ones of a camel spider or a scorpion that may have sought warmth in my sock. Really I would like some Stephen Einhorn cufflinks because they are so original, beautifully designed and crafted. Also a spearfishing gun for when we are camping on the Omani coast.

My wife has told me that she would like our new gift set diary/notepad and double pen case in bright red. Also, she would like someone else to clean the fish before they go on the BBQ!

What is your favourite family Christmas tradition?
Having an Austrian mother, we always spent Christmas in the Alps. Skiing was considered an essential part of my education together with German, the liking for knodeln and rosti and of course, being dressed with my brother in identical lederhosen. The latter being not necessarily my favourite but definitely my family tradition!

Favourite festive film or song?
This has to be “Dinner for one”with Freddie Frinton and May Warden. It is just such an absurd British skit made back in 1963.

Best place to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere?
I love to walk through the Burlington Arcade and also take in Fortnum and Mason’s Christmas windows that are second to none. We have our products in the extremely elegant but very contemporary Gieves and Hawkes on Savile Row – resplendent with a wonderful and extremely large Christmas tree –  and Fortnum’s men’s and ladies departments, both well worth a visit.

Top tip for surviving the festive season in style?
Try something different, something out of the box.