I've been reading a couple of Miss Read books; if you're not familiar with them, they're a series of novels set in the English countryside and focused on the doings of a small set of villages. A nice element of these novels is that they could so easily slide into sentimentality, but they don't; they are in fact a little on the astringent side.
The Christmas Mouse is a very short novel, featuring a three-generational family of grandmother, widowed mother, and little girls. On Christmas Eve, a mouse gets into the grandmother's bedroom, pushing her to sleep downstairs, where she is awoken by a runaway boy looking for food. He is also in need of some sensible talk. It's a charming little story, and if you're looking for a little dose of literary Christmas, this would be a good choice.
Miss Clare Remembers features one of the recurring characters, a beloved elderly teacher. As she waits for her friend's visit, she remembers her youth. It's really a description of English country life in the late Victorian/Edwardian era, and includes enough intelligent background that the reader is well immersed, without any rose-colored glasses.