We've asked Epic if it can shed more light on the problem.
This certainly isn't Fortnite's first outage -- hiccups aren't unheard of. They're not usually this glaring, though, and the timing is particularly unfortunate. This comes right as many gamers are taking advantage of their holiday breaks -- in some cases, they might be trying out Fortnite for the first time on new consoles and PCs. While Epic won't be hurting for players due to this outage, it would probably prefer a smoother experience at such an important moment.
Update (6:19 PM ET): Epic tweeted that it has deployed a fix that restored login and game services, and that players who earn its Take the Elf emote will receive it as a gift or right away. For those ito the deeper details, an employee explained on Reddit that an initial fix for the Elf emote issue uncovered a problem with profiles that mucked up queueing. It has, unfortunately, not fixed the glitch that sometimes makes other players better than you.