I never in my life ever had a real tree, and as a child, I don't think I ever knew that people actually put real trees in their living room! I grew up with a table-top, 3ft. high white plastic tree. It wasn't until we were grown that my mom opted for a 6ft green artificial tree.
When I was newly divorced and destitute, I picked up a sickly little green artificial tree at a garage sale for $10 and have had it all these years.
Last year I splurged and bought a nice, full, 7ft artificial tree and now it really looks like Christmas!