Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey

This post was inspired by Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey written by The Countess of Carnarvon. Learn more about the family who lived in Highclere Castle, where the popular British series Downton Abbey is filmed. Join From Left to Write on December 17 we discuss Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

The winter time is my absolute favorite time to read books. A fire in the fireplace, the lights on the Christmas Tree twinkling, a blanket and a good book. Sounds pretty perfect to me. December’s book for From Left to Write is one that I am sure many of you would love to read, history buff or not.

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I’ll be the first to admit, I haven’t seen a single episode or moment of Downton Abbey, I would love to, but honestly I just don’t have time to watch any other shows. I do love history and will jump at any chance to read a book with some sort of historical significance. Since I can’t relate the book and the show I decided to pull from a part of the book I can relate too. Catherine was by no means poor or anti-social, but the changes to her life once she married Porchey were incredible.

I grew up in what I call a very “American” life. My parents backgrounds were pretty normal, spanish, italian and irish. We had a modest house and cars. I grew up in Vermont, but my relatives were all pretty much in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and California.

Then I met Nick, who is very Greek with many relatives still in Greece. Many of his family members speak only Greek, and the have many different traditions that I never even knew about.

I am still learning, even after 5+ years of marriage, on etiquette, the different food specialities, and I can barely speak the language, let alone understand it. But I wouldn’t change a thing.

There are some traditions in his family that I love. For Christmas, all the stocking items are from Santa, this includes some small and large items. All the presents under the tree are from friends and family. Santa was something I have struggled with since having B. This is the first year that he really understands what is going on. I want him to believe in the magic, but I also want him to know that Santa isn’t the be all end all magical man who gives you what you ask for no matter what. I also want him to know that family and friends love him and care about him enough to pick out a gift that he will love.

In my family almost all presents were from Santa, and I will say it was confusing when even the gifts at my grandmother’s house were also from Santa.

In my family, two Christmas traditions I love are Christmas Pj’s opened and worn on Christmas eve. And every year we would all get ornaments that were all similar but individualized. I love these special touches, and who doesn’t love new comfy pi’s?

I love the way we have blended our families traditions, and I am sure as B gets older other things will have to be blended and changed, but Nick and I respect each other’s traditions and we will always make it work.

What are your family holiday traditions? How did they change when you got married?

7 thoughts on “Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey

  1. Because I’m Jewish and my husband didn’t really bring any traditions with him to our marriage, we’ve made our own! Last year was the first time we really celebrated Christmas and I started a PJ tradition for the kids, also! The one tradition we did carry over from my husband’s family is having dinner on Christmas Eve, which is the custom in Spanish culture (my husband is Puerto Rican). I really love creating these traditions and carrying them from year to year.

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  3. I believed in Santa until I was in 5th grade! I was definitely what you might call a laggard. I never thought he’d just get me anything I wanted though. My parents did a good job of establishing that I wouldn’t just get whatever I asked for and that Santa and my parents kinda collaborated on what would be the best gifts for me. I never really noticed that my parents never got me any gifts, haha. You’d think I might have asked “OK Santa gets me stuff now why don’t you?”

    • Well it’s better than your sister telling you at age 5 that Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy are all fake, all at once.

      I guess I never noticed the parents thing, but it was weird about the grandma thing :)

  4. I made PJs for my kids this year to open on Christmas eve to start that tradition. I also don’t lie to push Santa too much for the same reasons you mention. It’s hard when all everybody asks your children in the month of December is what is Santa bringing you?

    • You made your PJ’s, you are amazing! Do you do that every year? I agree it is hard. It also helps the mindset that my kids won’t always get the newest or trendiest toy, because honestly, I am not willing to fight other parents for a monetary gift!

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