Hallmark keepsake ornaments were introduced in 1973. My mother gave my daughter her first hallmark ornament on her first Christmas in 1981 and has continued until this day to give each grandchild his or her own special ornament every year in their Christmas stocking. They are the perfect heirloom gift that the children will have the rest of their lives.
There are a wide variety of ornaments made every year to commemorate a special event, such as baby's first Christmas, a newlywed couple's first Christmas or a new grandchild. You can also find ornaments that relate to different hobbies, occupations, or interest such as cooking, gardening or Disney. Most ornaments are made of plastic, but some of the ornaments depicting classic cars are made of metal. We have only had a couple of ornaments that have had pieces broken off of them, but they were the ones that had more delicate parts. So you do have to be extra careful with some of the more intricate ornaments, but almost all the ornaments have survived many years on the tree. The ornaments are all boxed with protective packaging to protect them in storage and each box has the picture of the ornament on the front. The price of each ornament varies, but you can easily find one to fit every budget.
Some ornaments have the year clearly marked on the ornament, but others are either not marked or may be too small to clearly see. Some of the ornaments have a place to insert a bulb from the tree so it is lighted and some are movable.
I am so happy that my mother started this tradition with the grandchildren. I intend to continue giving ornaments to my own grandchildren. I would highly recommend you start this tradition In your own family.