By Eliza Berman
November 18, 2014

This holiday season, let your loved ones know you care by going through the tremendous effort of selecting the right emoji for a text message. So says Kristen Bell in a newly released holiday song, “Text Me Merry Christmas,” recorded with a capella group Straight No Chaser. The song pokes fun — very lightly, perhaps too lightly — at the increasing informality of communication, where a text message today provides a measly substitute for the in-person visits of yore.

The lyrics (“I’ll go ‘neath the mistletoe and pretend my screen is you”) are a very intentional far cry from romantic songs of Christmases past, in which lovers kissed using the old-fashioned technology of lips and facial muscles. Bell has proven her musical talents before, in projects like Frozen and a Funny or Die parody video in which she played the part of Mary Poppins. And Straight No Chaser launched its career in the late ‘90s with a performance of “12 Days of Christmas,” which led to a five-album record deal.

It may be out of fashion to lament the adverse effects of technology. But it’s not hard to imagine that a day will come when we yearn for the close and personal touch of a winking emoji.

Write to Eliza Berman at eliza.berman@time.com.

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