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Mail carriers are probably overjoyed they don't have to deliver the Northwest Neighborhood Association's special Christmas cards - 4-by-8-foot painted plywood.

Mail carriers are probably overjoyed they don't have to deliver the Northwest Neighborhood Association's special Christmas cards - 4-by-8-foot painted plywood.Mail carriers are probably overjoyed they don't have to deliver the Northwest Neighborhood Association's special Christmas cards - 4-by-8-foot painted plywood.Instead, the "cards" will be placed in the Bloomington neighborhood's yards for all to see.

We hope the Christmas card idea catches on throughout Bloomington - as Northwest Neighborhood Association President Susie Curtis has suggested. But the yard-card idea isn't the only concept worth emulating.

Northwest Bloomington residents not only have the Christmas spirit, they have a spirit of neighborliness that is likely to be the envy of many other parts of the Twin Cities. Their actions could serve as an example to other areas that want to cultivate a similar spirit.

Having an unifying theme builds neighborhood cohesiveness. But the cards are only one part of the neighborhood's holiday activity. And Christmas isn't the only time of year the residents have neighborhood-wide activities. The neighborhood association also is involved in such things as yard sales and planting flowers on street corners.

There are many advantages to this - or any - neighborhood being active in joint projects. The better neighbors know each other, the more likely they are to help when one is in need or to notice when something is out of place and police should be called.

Neighborhood associations are a good way to keep a small-town flavor in even the biggest city.

The Pantagraph/XXXXXX XXXXX

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