No new episode?
They may have thought enough of their audience would be still distracted with holiday travel that it wouldn't be worth showing a new episode. My DVR is set to record only new episodes of all the shows I watch and it hasn't recorded a single thing in since Tuesday.
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I'd like to see more episode tie-ins too, I haven't had one yet where I was watching the show at the same time.
Last year we had the race car for the premier, then I think in November we had Cool Brown House and Fat Tony. Obviously there was the Halloween tie in - which was matched with this years. Since Fat Tony became a full time character I guess we can subtract that one out.
So really we are missing a single tie in, since this year we had the Sushi Bar and Waste Barrel (for the premier).
I'm thinking that perhaps we are getting less tie-ins, since the updates are getting larger and more frequent. For example, I think there were only 2 level updates (ever) to the game at this point last year. Obviously we had the large Halloween update, but we also had a small Thanksgiving update (no quests, just the balloons). So this year we had the pre-halloween quests, and a somewhat large Thanksgiving questline, in addition to the premier episode quest line.
Either that or since there's lots of holiday stuff going on, they are saving the tie-ins for down time months next year. Perhaps one in January, then we'll get a Valentine's update, then a Saint Patrick's Day update, then Whacking Day will be all upon us. So unless they toss a few in, I'm thinking there will be a "less is more" type of thing, then we'll see a larger 'yard' sale at the end of the season, after whacking day.