2 Christmases ago, my family gathered in the small town of Lincoln, just out of Christchurch. My brother and his partner built a house there thanks to her savvy parents pointing them in all the right directions (now they're looking at building another and selling the original, very Kiwi-like).
My parents, my brother, my sister and I went out to this awesome restaurant in town called The Lab, it's a craft brewery crossed with a theatre crossed with a pizzeria. Rather cool.
Anyway we all went out for dinner, my sister had a 1 year old son being baby-sat and was stressed out of her mind, but she was able to join us and try and let her hair down a bit. We had drinks, ordered food, ordered more food, more drinks, just chatted and ate and laughed for almost 2 hours. Eventually the time came to pay and my parents each went for their wallets, but my brother and I zipped off to the front of house to get the bill. Couple hundred all up, a very nice night out for 5 people in rural New Zealand.
Get back to the table and mum and dad are just sort of sitting there quietly sharing a small smile between each other. We finished up and headed home, but recently dad opened up about that night - he asked if I remembered that dinner and I said "Of course, it was really nice pizza and I tried like 5 different beers". He said it was such a nice night for him and mum because they had this solid realization that they had raised nice children into nice adults. Seeing both their sons race each other to the counter so their parents and single-mother sister didn't have to spend anything, seeing their daughter handle being self-employed and a single-mother (that horrible duo) and still come out on top. They just realized "Shit, we did it. They're great people".
They aren't traditionally wealthy by any stretch, mum works 2 jobs some part of the year, and an extra one later one, dad is the custodian at a tiny school that is one of the saddest socio-economic areas I've ever seen in New Zealand. But man are they happy. They provided everything for us and we flourished and provide for everyone else in our lives. They got to watch it all come full circle and I think they feel extremely wealthy every time they get us all together.
So for me? Something like that. I don't know if I'll have kids but I think being able to provide for others and help them become good people in turn. Turns out I can do that right now, community service, donations, being there for friends who need assistance.
Money is great, but doing something useful with what I have to spare is where the fun hides.