In our apartment years, only fake trees were allowed. We did have one, and we did decorated it, but it just didn't have the same feeling. It probably didn't help that we weren't at home for Christmas, so we didn't get to enjoy it for very long. For the past two years, we have been able to get a real tree, and it's so much better. As much of a mess they make, the experience of going out and picking one makes it worth while (and the smell too!).
Last year, Evan (being two months old) slept right through the decorating. This year, we were hoping we could do it with him. But, by the time we got the tree set up and had dinner, he was overly tired. So, he went to bed with the naked tree up in the living room (to which he said "Ooooo!!!" loudly when DH brought it into the house) and woke up to it decorated. I think this actually worked in our favor, because he hasn't yet figured out that the ornaments can come off. He's very interested in the tree, and gets really excited when we turn the lights on, but all he does is stares and points at different ornaments. That's fine by me! Perhaps next year he can help.