Best of all, the mess was minimal. I finally discovered (why didn't somebody tell me before, I have hated cookie decorating all these years) the ease of frosting bags. I'm not sure if that is what they are called, but let me tell you....they are heaven sent. I filled them with different colors of frosting, then put a twisty-tie in the top so the frosting only came out one end. It was so much better than using bowls and a knife to spread it.
I guess we'll be decorating cookies more often than once every three years.