As a kid, most years our family used an artificial tree, though I do remember one year using a live tree. The live tree left a mess with lots of needles.
As an adult, we've always had an artificial tree. I started out using one that was handed down to me, but when it became too worn I picked up a good deal on one at an "after-Christmas" sale that we've used for the last few years.
Our trees were probably 6 feet tall or so. As a kid, the tree seemed really tall.
Growing up, we would put up and decorate the tree around my mom's birthday, on the 10th or so. Everyone would help decorate. I can remember having both a rotating star (60s relic - wish still had) and an angel for a tree topper.
As an adult, we seem so busy that we put up the tree when we can. This year it is not up yet, which seems later than normal. Usually right after Thanksgiving it will go up.
I asked my mom about her Christmas tree memories as well:
I can remember having a real tree as a child. The artifical trees became popular and so we started having one. I think my dad did the lights and with my mom decorated it. We put our tree up on Dec. 10th, my birthday, therefore it was only up about 2 weeks. Mom took it down right after Christmas. Our trees were green but I think one year we had an aluminum tree with the color wheel. My mom liked to decorate and later her trees were all done in gold decorations.