The secret origins of Secret Santa -- what are they?

Recent office events have me musing on the history of Secret Santa gift exchanges. Basically, what is their history? How long have they been going on? Who invented them, and when? Have they always been called “Secret Santa,” or does the exchange predate the term? Has anyone done a sociological study on these things, and did they get an A on that paper?

“Secret Santa” starts being used as a term of an annoymous gifter in the newspapers of the 1930’s.

The concept of a gift exchange coupled with the name “Secret Santa” came much later, in the 1970’s(perhaps 1960s) by my reading of a general newspaper database.

Wow! Kudos to samclem! I read the OP and thought, “That’s the sort of question no one could possibly answer!” and the first response is not only an answer, but a precise and apparentlywell-researched answer. Huzzah!

I had a sneaking suspcion that samclem might be able to cough up an early cite. Thanks for the info!