I live in The Netherlands, so I'm not sure if the same practice is also in the US (or other countries). But here, generally around Christmas time, it's typical for the employer to give Christmas packages as a "gift" to employees for Christmas. That's fine, but the packages I've got from this employer the last 2 years contain items that 9 times out of 10 I don't need/want, and I give them away to my friends.. now I'm not at a high income atm, I was wondering if it is OK for me to ask my employer to, instead of giving me a Christmas package, give me the value in cash, or a gift card, that I can select items that I need? Would that be too rude to do? (After all, he doesn't have to give us a Christmas package).. Or would it be reasonable (my income is below minimum wage)?
It's not appropriate to stipulate what you want as a gift of this sort. If you get an Xmas bonus that is a totally different scenario. But a gift is totally up to the giver and should be accepted (good or bad) in the spirit in which it is given.
You can always ask, but it's not the 'right' thing to do.
I get lots of things that are useless to me, mostly alcohol (I don't drink), but I thank the giver respectfully and keep any disappointment to myself.