New gift-giving rules?

by Raine

My brother and his girlfriend have a lot of rules attached to giving them gifts. Our family has been through both of their birthdays, her son's birthday, Christmas, and now their baby shower. Before each of these events, they send an email with a list of things to choose from. There is also a date that we need to reply by to let them know what we are choosing from the list so they do not receive two of the same items. I once went off-list but included a gift receipt and was told they did not have time to return things. I am sad that I will not get to make my soon-to-be-born niece a handmade baby blanket as I have for all the babies in our family but was told that homemade things were not 'on the list.'All these rules are new since he started dating her, so my question is......are these rules neurotic or the new etiquette when it comes to gift giving? What good is the surprise of a gift with them?

Thanks in advance,

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Gift Giving Rules?
by: Ms P Etiquette

Dear Raine,

Oh my goodness! This is most definitely NOT the new etiquette. These "requests" are ill-mannered and pushy. A gift registry as a convenience for guests is acceptable on certain occasions. Arbitrary lists with instructions is unimaginable unless all the family members have their own lists with instructions. I am amazed that you all go along with this behavior as it defies the very definition of gift giving.

Ms. Practical Etiquette

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