Credit: © Copyright ITV plc 2013

Ring the butler for tissues because the Downton Abbey Season 4 finale is almost upon us. We know it just seems like yesterday we started the newest chapter of life with the Crawleys, but Downton, as always, comes in a small dose (only eight episodes in the U.S.!).

And honestly, that’s probably for the best. So much gets packed into every weekly installment we’re not sure a longer season would be healthy for us.

When’s the Sunday night you should prepare to bid adieu to your make-believe English cousins? That be February 23. But don’t worry. It won’t be a short goodbye. That night’s episode is technically the Season 4 Christmas Special, which played in the United Kingdom on Christmas Day 2013. Being special and all, the show runs two hours long on PBS come the 23rd.

We’ve got all kinds of spoilers about what to expect from the episode but, on the off-chance you don’t want to be spoiled, here are three little words to tide you over: the Royal Family.

Once Season 4 wraps that evening, we’ll just have — brace yourself — 11 more months until it returns to American airwaves. The fifth season starts filming this very month and will air in the U.K. in September (or thereabouts) but, like normal, PBS likely won’t bring Downton to this side of the world until early January. 

Carson?! Where are those tissues?

Source: PBS

Elisabeth Kramer is an Assistant Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Downton Abbey expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!