When I was a kid growing up in the islands, just about anything could be a Christmas tree, including a grouping of seafans with ornaments hanging off them.
Mostly we had artificial trees because by the time real fir trees reached us from their cool northern climes they were already turning brown and dropping needles all over the place. Nowadays they arrive in refrigerated containers and look just as good as the ones available in the states. However, they are quite expensive.
We most always had an artificial tree. For many years we had an aluminium one. It was small, about three feet. It sat on top of our side-board, so there was plenty of room for presents to go under it. We strung lights on it. My father, the master electrician/electronics engineer never said anything about not stringing lights on it. I hear now that you're not suppose to because of the possibility of getting shocked. My father would never have endangered us, so I wonder just how hazardous it is....
The lights we used were small, probably among the first miniature sets ever made. (We're talking somewhere between 1958 and 60.) Each little clear light had its own colored plastic sort of star-shaped cover. All those different colored lights made our little aluminum tree sparkle and shimmer like a multi-faceted jewel. Then when we'd add glass ornaments! It was breath-taking.
Of all the artificial trees we had, that little aluminum one is my all time favorite. I'd love to have another, and I'd probably put lights on it.