Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine Never Gives Holiday Gifts—But Has the Perfect One for Your Co-Workers
Man Repeller's Leandra Medine may not be a big gift giver herself, but she's got some good ideas for how you can treat the people in your life this holiday season. The fashion blogger and expectant mother admits that she "never" actually gives gifts, but that doesn't mean she shies away from the process entirely.
She designed digital greeting cards for PayPal's P2P gifting experience—a way for people to gift money through virtual gift cards—and she talked to InStyle over the phone about it.
Read our interview with Medine below to find out what she thinks you should gift to your coworker this year.
What inspired your card design for PayPal?
Well it was really a bit more collaborative than anything else, so essentially PayPal had some ideas already of the direction they wanted to go in, and it was my job to make sure they were a combination of funny and charming, so I was mostly involved in the tweaking process of getting the cards to a place that felt as Man Repeller as possible.
If you got a PayPal card as a gift today, what would you buy with it?
Oh, it totally depends on how much money they gave me with the card. You know, I feel like I’m in such a privileged position because I receive so many gifts anyway, that I would probably use one of the cards to buy a holiday gift for someone else or make some version of a donation. I think it would be very very selfish of me to buy something for myself.
How are you gifting for the special people in your life this season?
I’m Jewish, so I don’t really do Christmas gifts, and Hanukkah is not as big a deal as gifts are concerned, so I never actually give gifts. It’s always kind of funny when this question is asked to me, who am I gifting and what am I gifting them, because it’s rare that I’m even giving gifts.
But when my company was much much smaller, I used to try and give personalized gifts to my employees like I’d give Amelia—Amelia’s our Head of Creative—something that I knew she wanted. Like, if it was a Celine earring, and I’d really wait until down to the wire when things started going on sale so I could get better value at a price point I could afford.
Do you have shopping tips for when you’re shopping for your co-workers or employees specifically?
Well according to the research that PayPal has done and the research that I have read as a result, money is really the gift that people want for the holidays, and so giving that makes it so much easier. I understand that it’s the thought that counts, but receiving money is so great, so if you’re in a position to give an employee a bonus, just do that.
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How do you keep things as stress-free as possible when preparing for the holidays?
The holidays are only overwhelming because it’s crunch time. It’s like everyone trying to get last minute things in before the New Year starts. The actual holidays are pretty delightful as far as I’m concerned, I don’t necessarily consider it stressful because again, I’m not super involved in the gift giving process. I don’t engage in that part of culture in a very profound way. But I don’t know, I’m a really anxious person and I’m not very good at managing stress to be honest.
It’s good to remember that the holidays themselves are delightful, even if the buildup is less so.
It’s fun, right? That’s why people drink so much, it’s that they’re trying to forget how much they have to do.
Maybe that’s why a nice bottle of wine is such a solid holiday gift idea.
Yes, especially if someone’s having a holiday party at home.
This interview has been edited and condensed.