Although The Corrections is challenging to break down into a basic plot, it's safe to say the events center on one thing: Enid's desire to have the whole family home for one last Christmas.
Alfred and Enid live in the Midwestern suburb of St. Jude with their three kids: Gary, Chip, and Denise. Alfred works for the Midland Pacific railroad, a small but successful regional company.
Denise is the last to leave home, and she works with her father at Midland Pacific the summer before she leaves for college. During that time, she has an affair with an older coworker named Don Armour. Alfred mysteriously quits his job that same summer after the railroad is purchased by venture capitalists.
Fast-forward nearly a dozen years. The family is now scattered across the world:
At the same time, the family learns that a new drug called Correcktall could potentially cure Alfred. There's just one catch: He'll be ineligible for the treatment if diagnosed with dementia.
Meanwhile, Enid and Alfred have an exciting cruise to go on. But due to Alfred's nighttime freak-outs, Enid ends up taking a drug called Aslan that blocks her from feeling shame. Which is a good thing, because otherwise she'd feel pretty bad when Alfred falls off the boat and is airlifted to shore. Don't worry, though—he survives
Let's check back in with the kids, shall we?
Gary and Denise are the first to arrive in St. Jude. Gary is impatient with Enid's constant requests, and although Denise hides it better, she is, too. No one expects Chip to show up, but come Christmas morning there's a knock at the door from Chip.
Meanwhile, Denise makes a huge realization: Don Armour blackmailed Alfred in order to procure a job for himself at the newly purchased Midland Pacific. That's why Alfred suddenly quit.
After Christmas, Alfred is diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer's. He moves to an assisted living center and passes away about two years later. Chip moves to Chicago and starts a family, while Denise moves to Brooklyn and works at a hip new restaurant. And Enid—well, she's "going to make some changes in her life" (7.22).